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Iran Press TV

25 Iraqi fighters killed repelling Daesh attack in Anbar

Iran Press TV

Tue Jan 5, 2016 3:21PM

At least 25 fighters with the Iraqi government have lost their lives while trying to thwart a three-day offensive by Daesh Takfiri militants in the province of Anbar.

'We have given 25 martyrs in 72 hours,' Sheikh Abdallah Atallah, a tribal commander, said from the western region of Haditha, which is a strategic area that houses an important dam, Iraq's second largest after the Mosul dam.

The commander described the offensive as the biggest by the militants so far, launched from three directions.

The death toll was also confirmed by mayor of Haditha, Mabrouk Hamid, who said, "We have more than 20 martyrs and more than 50 wounded. They are from the army, CTS (the counter-terrorism service), the police and the tribal fighters."

Hamid added that the offensive started on Sunday and the area was targeted by "more than 40 vehicles, all armored and some explosives-laden." He said the cars were destroyed.

The attack came after the Takfiris lost control of the provincial capital of Ramadi a week ago.

Ramadi became a flash point after the Iraqi military started the campaign to liberate the strategic city a few months ago.

The Iraqi army announced they were in full control of Ramadi on December 28. Portions of the city, however, remain to be cleansed of terrorists. Iraqi Defense Ministry officials have said it will take more time for the clean-up to be accomplished.

The city is located about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the capital, Baghdad.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said the recapture of the strategic city would pave the way for Iraq's long-anticipated offensive into the main city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province in the north, which has been under the control of Daesh since the summer of 2014. Abadi believes 2016 would be the last year for Daesh in Iraq.

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