Iraqi Forces in Renewed Battle against ISIS in Anbar

Mon Jul 13, 2015 14:30:02

Iraqi forces retook two villages in Anbar on Monday as part of their operations against the ISIS group in the western province, security officials said.

"The security forces were able to advance and liberate the areas of Albu Shijil and Shiha near Khaldiyah, between Saqlawiya and Ramadi," an army lieutenant colonel said.

He said the operation was made possible by the fact that anti-ISIS forces had trapped the terrorist inside their stronghold of Fallujah, further east.

A top official from the Khaldiyah area, Ibrahim al-Fahdawi, confirmed the liberation of the two villages in the Euphrates Valley.

Iraq's joint operations command trumpeted the launch of "operations to liberate Anbar" at 5:00 am but provided few details.

"Your armed forces, Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation), special operations (forces), federal police and tribesmen, are engaging in the liberation operations and advancing towards the set targets," a statement said.

Hashed al-Shaabi said its forces were advancing northeast of Fallujah, an ISIS bastion which has escaped government control since early 2014 and where US troops faced the toughest battles of their eight-year occupation.

Iraqi security forces, Shiite militiamen and Sunni tribesmen have been fighting ISIS around Fallujah and Ramadi for months.

The army and the Hashed have sent conflicting messages as to whether Ramadi or Fallujah should be the first target of their efforts in Anbar.

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