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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iraqi forces launch major offensive to recapture western towns

Iran Press TV

Thu Jan 5, 2017 9:28AM

Iraqi army soldiers, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units, have started an offensive to retake towns and areas in the troubled western province of Anbar from Takfiri Daesh terrorists.

"A military operation has begun in the western areas of Anbar to liberate them from Daesh," Major General Qassem Mohammedi, commander of Jazeera Operations Command, said on Thursday.

He said the Iraqi Army's 7th Division, police personnel and pro-government fighters – commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha'abi – are involved in the military campaign.

Iraqi army soldiers and their allies plan to liberate the towns of Anah, Rawa and al-Qaim on the Euphrates River, and the most immediate objective of the new offensive is Anah, situated 258 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad.

"Our forces started advancing from Haditha towards Anah from several directions," Mohammedi noted.

Nadhom al-Jughaifi, a commander with the Haditha tribal fighters, said zero hour had come to liberate the western areas.

Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Sha'abi fighters have liberated large parts of Anbar over the past months. They won back the city of Falluja, located roughly 69 kilometers west of Baghdad on the Euphrates, in mid-June 2016.

Iraqi government forces and their allies retook the provincial city of Ramadi on December 28, 2015, and raised the national flag above the government complex there. Ramadi had fallen to Daesh extremists in May that year.

Iraqi troops are currently involved in a joint and multi-pronged operation to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists. The liberation offensive started on October 17 last year.

Daesh car bombs kill about 20 in Baghdad

Two bomb attacks on Thursday claimed as much as 18 lives, leaving scores more injured.

The first bomb attack killed at least eight people and left more than a dozen others injured when it hit an area in eastern Baghdad on Thursday, Iraqi security and medical sources said.

The sources added that the explosives-laden car was parked near an outdoor fruit and vegetable market in al-Obaidi neighborhood.

The second explosion targeted Bab al-Moadham district in central Baghdad near a security checkpoint, killing at least ten people and injuring 21.

Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) announced in a statement on Tuesday that at least 6,878 Iraqi civilians were killed last year as a result of the ongoing violence in the Arab country. Another 12,388 people were injured.

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