Iraqi troops and popular volunteer forces have made new gains against ISIL militants in the western Anbar Province, recapturing some strategic areas from the terrorist group.
The allied forces have seized control of more than 10 major districts in the town of al-Karma, located 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital, Baghdad, according to a spokesman for Iraq’s Defense Ministry.
Sa’ad Maan said the operation was headed by units of Iraq’s 59th Brigade while volunteer forces also contributed to the advancement in the strategic city.
Among the districts confirmed to have been cleared of ISIL militants are al-Hamrah, Ma’sekar, Aboudlaf, Albu Aabbas, al-Malali and Jazirah. The retaking of the districts has effectively cut off ISIL’s supply lines into Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, which is currently under the control of the militants, said Maan.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi fighter jets pounded some positions of ISIL militants north of Ramadi, inflicting heavy damage and casualties on the group.
Militants attacked from north
Meanwhile, volunteer forces continued battling the terrorists in areas north of Ramadi, with reports showing that they are nearing the Nazim Taqsim town.
Hadi al-Ameri, the secretary general of Iraq’s Badr Organization, said his fighters are currently 500 meters from the town and they will keep closing in as soon as a bridge damaged by the terrorist is repaired.
The advancement on Taqsim comes days after Iraqi forces managed to liberate the strategic town of Nazim Tharthar north of Anbar province.
Retaking Nazim Taqsim, which is around 20 kilometers from Ramadi, would tighten the noose on ISIL militants inside the provincial capital, which fell into the hands of terrorists last month.
The recapturing of Ramadi is part of a broader attempt by the Iraqi army and volunteer forces to take back regions that are currently under the control of ISIL. The Takfiri group, which first began its atrocities in neighboring Syria, started to wreak havoc across Iraq in June 2014, when its militants took full control of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul.
Militants then stormed through some other towns and villages north and west of Iraq, but they were forced out of some of them when Iraqis began repelling them from their positions. In late March, allied forces managed to retake Tikrit, a major stronghold for militants in north Iraq.