A member of Iraqi pro-government forces stands guard in the city of Falluja, Anbar province, 29 December 2016

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Iraqi pro-government forces retook the town of Falluja, in japanese Anbar province, final 12 months

The Iraqi navy says it has launched a brand new offensive aimed toward re-capturing western cities close to the Syrian border from the jihadist group Islamic State.

The operation will contain military and federal police items, together with tribal fighters.

Their primary targets are the cities of Aanah, Rawa and al-Qaim, which lie alongside the River Euphrates.

Final 12 months, authorities forces drove IS out of a lot of Anbar province, retaking the key cities of Ramadi and Falluja.

However massive components of the huge desert area stay below jihadist management.

The primary goal of the offensive is the city of Aanah, about 240km (150 miles) north-west of Baghdad.

“Our forces began advancing from Haditha in the direction of Aanah from a number of instructions,” Lt Gen Qassem Mohammedi, head of the navy’s Jazeera Operations Command, instructed AFP information company on Thursday.

Troops then goal to advance westwards alongside the Euphrates in the direction of Rawa after which al-Qaim, which is 330km from Baghdad and subsequent to a key crossing on the border with Syria.

The offensive comes as authorities forces proceed to battle IS militants for management of the northern metropolis of Mosul.

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Iraqi authorities forces are reported to have recaptured two-thirds of japanese Mosul

On Wednesday, a senior Iraqi commander stated 65-70% of japanese Mosul had been recaptured and that troops anticipated to achieve the banks of the River Tigris within the metropolis centre inside days.

Lt Gen Talib Shaghati, head of the elite Counter-Terrorism Service, instructed Reuters information company that IS had carried out lots of of suicide automobile bomb assaults for the reason that assault started 11 weeks in the past in an try to carry on to its final main city stronghold in Iraq.

A spokesman for the US-led multinational coalition supporting the offensive stated troops had made important progress since launching a brand new section on 29 December, once they started synchronising assaults on three axes and the variety of coalition navy advisers was doubled to about 450.

“What we’re discovering is that the synchronized assaults current the enemy with extra issues than they will clear up, and the Iraqi safety forces are making progress with the continued good thing about coalition strikes and advisers,” Col John Dorrian told reporters on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the presence inside the town of lots of of hundreds of civilians continues to sluggish progress.

“There are greater than 200,000 buildings in Mosul. And actually, with a purpose to do that correctly, given the way in which that the enemy has performed themselves, you find yourself having to clear every one,” Col Dorrian stated.