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Iraq forces launch assault on last IS-held pocket

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces introduced an offensive on Saturday to retake the last pocket of territory within the nation nonetheless held via the Islamic State crew, the operation’s commander mentioned.

The Euphrates valley the town of Rawa and within sight villages had been bypassed via executive troops and allied military after they retook the Syrian border the town of al-Qaim last week.

Troops sponsored via military recruited a few of the area’s Sunni Arab tribes “launched a major offensive to liberate Rumana and the Rawa area,”, General Abdelamir Yarallah mentioned.

Rumana is on the north facet of the Euphrates simply throughout from al-Qaim whilst the small the town of Rawa lies downstream.

Rawa is the last the town nonetheless held via IS aside from Albu Kamal, al-Qaim’s dual the town simply around the Syrian border the place the jihadists had been nonetheless combating Damascus troops and allied forces lately after mounting a wonder counterattack past due Thursday.

The Syrian military had declared victory within the struggle for Albu Kamal however IS warring parties driven again in from the desolate tract to the north the place they nonetheless keep an eye on a strip of territory between spaces held via executive troops and via US-backed Kurdish-led forces.

The recapture of the Rawa pocket would mark the overall battleground defeat of IS in Iraq and sound the demise knell of the sprawling “caliphate” the gang declared in 2014 over a swathe of Iraq and Syria the dimensions of Britain.

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