Iraqi forces begin operation against Daesh / ISIS along Syrian border | World Defense

Iraqi forces begin operation against Daesh / ISIS along Syrian border

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Iraqi forces begin operation against Daesh along Syrian border
Updated 29 sec ago
AFP
July 07, 2019

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The operation against Daesh is being carried out by Iraqi troops and members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, above. (Reuters file photo)


  • Operation is being carried out by Iraqi troops and members of the Popular Mobilization Forces
  • Iraq declared victory against Daesh in July 2017, but extremists have turned into an insurgency
BAGHDAD: Iraq's military announced a new operation Sunday in an attempt to secure the vast western desert leading to the Syrian border, amid fears militant sleeper cells were using the area to regroup.

The operation, dubbed "Will of Victory", began early Sunday morning and would push to clear the remote territory between the provinces of Salahaddin, Nineveh and Anbar, a statement by the military said.

Iraqi armed forces, paramilitary units of the Shiite-dominated Hashed al-Shaabi, tribal groups and US-led coalition warplanes were all taking part, according to the statement.

"There are pockets of Daesh fighters in the northwestern, western, and southwestern parts of Salahaddin province," a media official from the province's military command told AFP.

"Daesh is still present in these areas, and the operations will continue until they are cleared."

Iraq formally declared victory against Daesh in late 2017, a few months after ousting the militants from their seat of power Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province.

The group lost their last sliver of territory in Syria -- a small desert hamlet near the Iraqi border -- in March.

But Daesh sleeper cells have kept up hit-and-run attacks in isolated parts of Iraq, targeting government checkpoints, public infrastructure and local officials.

Security analyst Hisham al-Hashemi said "Will of Victory" was aimed at depriving Daesh of the resources it uses to carry out those raids.
"It will drain Daesh's logistical support in an area that makes up nearly a quarter of Iraq, by destroying their bases, training camps, depots and tunnels," he told AFP.

He said security forces were seeking to oust an estimated 1,000 Daesh fighters from the desert regions around Baaj, Rawah and Tharthar.

Iraq's security forces have targeted Daesh in several coalition-backed operations in recent months, including in the rugged Hamrin region north of Baghdad.

In May, they armed tribal forces in several dozen villages in Nineveh province to enable populations to defend themselves against insurgent attacks.


 
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