By Suleiman al-Qubaisi and Husain al-Amir
Iraqi forces Monday recaptured six villages in the western Anbar province from the Daesh terrorist organization, while five Daesh elements were killed in another two air strikes in northern Iraq’s Diyala province.
“The Iraqi army managed to liberate six villages west of the city of Rawa, 230 kilometers [143 miles] northwest of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar [province],” Army Col. Waleed al-Dulaimi told Anadolu Agency.
According to al-Dulaimi, Daesh elements fled from the villages towards the desert northwest of the city of Rawa, adding that army units had reached the outskirts of the city in preparation for recapturing it from Daesh.
The operation is part of a wide-ranging military campaign by the Iraqi government starting on Oct. 26 meant to retake the districts of Rawa and Al-Qaim on the Syrian border, reportedly Daesh’s last strongholds.
In related news, at least five Daesh elements were killed by two Iraqi military air strikes in northern Iraq’s Diyala province, Police Capt. Habib al-Shammari told Anadolu Agency Monday.
An Iraqi army aircraft bombed a Daesh vehicle carrying three terrorists in an area in Diyala, he said.
Another vehicle carrying two terrorists was targeted by another air strike in the Hawi al-Azim area, in northern Diyala, he added, saying that the two strikes killed all the Daesh militants inside the vehicles.
The Daesh terrorist group was recently dislodged by Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led International Alliance from large areas it had taken in both Iraq and Syria since the summer of 2014.