By Suleiman al-Qubaisi and Ibrahim al-Saadi
Iraqi forces on Tuesday captured two villages as part of an ongoing campaign aimed at dislodging Daesh terrorist group from its last holdouts in the western Anbar province, according to military commanders.
Iraqi forces backed by tribal fighters seized control of the villages of
“Our forces wrested control of both villages after killing several terrorists and seizing caches of weapons and ammunition,” Abdul-Zobai told Anadolu Agency without specifying the number of terrorists killed.
Daesh militants and snipers, he added, were currently attempting to disrupt the advance of Iraqi forces into the area.
Army commander Walid al-Duleimi, for his part, said Iraqi forces and tribal fighters were also pushing into Anbar’s Al-Ubaidi district.
Last week, the Iraqi army began a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at liberating the towns of Rawa and Al-Qaim, the terrorist group’s last strongholds in Anbar.
In a related development Tuesday, an Iraqi military delegation inspected the Ibrahim Khalil and Faysh Khabur border crossings in advance of assuming control over both crossings from northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
“The federal government will soon assume authority over both crossings,” the Iraqi Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Earlier Tuesday, Turkish and Iraqi forces reached the Ibrahim Khalil crossing, which links northern Iraq to Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province.
Since last month’s illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence, Iraq’s central government in Baghdad has sought to assume control over both border crossings.
The referendum was broadly opposed by the international community, including both Ankara and Baghdad, which had warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against Daesh.