Baghdad, Oct 26 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Thursday announced the launch of an offensive against the last Islamic State (IS) stronghold in Anbar province near the Syrian border.
The Iraqi forces are marching to “liberate the cities of al-Qaim and Rawa, as well as the villages and towns in Anbar”, a statement by the Prime Minister’s office said.
The Iraqi Army, paramilitary Hashd al-Shaabi Brigade, tribal Sunni fighters and provincial police began the offensive, reports Xinhua news agency.
The IS militants seized large swathes of territory in Iraq in 2014.
In July, Iraqi forces expelled IS combatants from Mosul, which was IS main bastion in, after more than eight months of fierce fighting, and in the following months, retook other areas in northern Iraq such as Tel Afar and Hawija.
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