Iraqi troops advance against Daesh in Anbar

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Thursday, 10 March 2016

Iraqi forces have liberated an area from the grips of the Daesh terrorist group in the western province of Anbar, evacuating thousands of civilians, a security spokesman says.

“Counter-terrorism forces and army troops liberated the Zankura area in a swift military operation,” Sabah al-Noman, spokesman of the elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said on Thursday.

Some 10,000 people were transferred to a safe area, Noman stated, adding that the Iraqi flag was raised on the highest building in Zankura.

Iraqi soldiers killed 80 Daesh militants in the operation and arrested 56 Takfiri elements, who were trying to flee along with the Iraqi families, he added.

Zankura lies on a bend in the Euphrates River, northwest of Ramadi, Anbar’s provincial capital.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi security forces also retook villages from Daesh near Ramadi. Advancing west of Ramadi towards the city of Hit, the Iraqi troops evacuated people held hostage by the Daesh militants.

Residents of the villages of Zangura and Qariya Asriya were escorted to safety by the Iraqi forces.

“We suffered a lot, we suffered thirst and hunger, they are injustice, they hurt us and made us suffer, what can I tell you more than that,” cried an unidentified woman as she described her suffering while in Daesh captivity.
Mohammed Ibrahim, battalion commander of Iraqi Army’s 16th division, said Zangura was liberated “entirely” and cleared out of explosives.

“We freed the families that were in Daesh captivity, some of them were shot by Daesh and we rescued them …. Now the whole area is under our control …. Our next duty is to advance towards Hit, God willing,” he stated.

Iraqi forces regained control over Ramadi last December and have since cleared most of the city. The Daesh elements still hold pockets in the northern and eastern outskirts.

Counter-terrorism forces, army soldiers, police and allied volunteer fighter have been conducting a joint operation since March 1 aimed at retaking militant-held areas near the capital city of Baghdad.

The Iraqi army is also conducting another operation to liberate Mosul, the capital of the northern province of Nineveh, which has served as the main seat of Daesh since the Takfiri group began its terror activities in Iraq in June 2014.

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