Iraqi forces wage offensive to liberate last Daesh-held town
Iran Press TV
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:16AM
Iraqi armed forces have waged an offensive to liberate the western town of Rawah from the Daesh terrorist group, leaving the notorious militants on the verge of collapse in the country.
Two Iraqi infantry divisions launched the operation on Saturday to recapture the small town in Anbar Province and its surrounding areas near the Syrian border, according to a statement issued by the country's Joint Operations Command.
Popular Mobilization Forces, better known as Hashd al-Sha'abi, and Sunni tribal fighters are backing the operation.
The development comes after Iraqi forces liberated the strategic town of al-Qaim – located west of Rawah in Anbar -- in what Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi hailed as a "record time" triumph last week, leaving only tiny pockets of land in the hands of Daesh terrorists.
The anticipated recapture of Rawah would bring an end to Daesh control over swathes of territory it seized across Iraq and Syria in 2014, where the terrorist outfit declared a so-called caliphate.
On the side of the border, Syrian forces along with allied fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement also declared victory over Daesh on Thursday after recapturing the last sizable town of Bukamal near the Iraqi border.
Earlier this week, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) cautioned in a statement that Daesh terrorists had laid a siege to Rawah to prevent thousands of civilians from fleeing.
The UN agency said in its Wednesday statement that the Takfiri militants had taken about 2,500 families, equivalent to 10,000 individuals, hostage in Rawah, located about 300 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad, to block the progress of Iraqi forces.
Daesh terrorists swept through parts of northern and western Iraq in June 2014. They then began a reign of terror across the captured areas, committing crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.
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