Iraq launches major anti-IS offensive in three provinces

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Iraq launches major anti-IS offensive in three provinces

Iraq launches major anti-IS offensive in three provinces

IANS   ¦    Jul 07, 2019 03:52:39 PM (IST)

Iraq launches major anti-IS offensive in three provinces-1Baghdad: Iraqi security forces on Sunday, July 7, launched an offensive to hunt down the remaining Islamic State (IS) militants in the provinces of Anbar, Salahudin and Nineveh.

Soldiers and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units, backed by Iraqi and international aircraft, started the first phase of the offensive early Sunday morning, and planned to continue it for several days, said Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, deputy commander of Joint Operations Command, in a statement.

The troops pushed in multiple routes in the three provinces to chase the remnants of IS militants and to destroy their hideouts, Xinhua news agency quoted Yarallah as saying.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, also commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, said in a statement that the "Iraqi forces will achieve the victory on the terrorist gangs (IS militants) and will add to their record of victories new victories".

The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.

The remaining militants, however, have since come to urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.