Army forces advancing into last den of Daesh in Iraq: Prime minister


Iraqi forces backed by Sunni tribal volunteers on Thursday recaptured the Jabbab district in Iraq's western Anbar province from the Daesh terrorist group.

The Iraqi air force dropped thousands of leaflets on the border area calling on militants to surrender and urging the population to stay away from their positions, according to a statement from the Joint Operations Command in Baghdad.

Islamic State's self-declared cross-border caliphate effectively collapsed in July, when US -backed Iraqi forces captured Mosul, the group's de facto capital in Iraq, in a grueling battle which lasted nine months.

With those offensives likely to happen soon, ISIS is building up its defenses around the area, pushing more forces into the area while, according to United States officials, ISIS leaders are being evacuated to smaller towns inside Syria that they still control.

According to al-Dulaimi, Iraqi troops and tribal volunteers - backed by USA -led coalition air power - are now advancing on Al-Qaim city.

The Iraqi forces are marching to "liberate the cities of al-Qaim and Rawa, as well as the villages and towns in Anbar", a statement by the Prime Minister's office said.

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The militants' Syrian stronghold, Raqqa, fell to US -backed forces last week.

Over 3,400 British bombs have been dropped on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Syria and Iraq, new analysis reveals.

During that same day, Iraqi police forces were able to repel a major attack by the Islamic State group in the city of Tikrit, capital of the central province of Salah al-Din.

They have advanced mostly in areas to the west of the Euphrates River where they have captured the town of Al Mayadin and besieged the last Daesh-held pockets of Deir Ezzor city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the Syrian army had advanced from T2 to reach 45km from the outskirts of Albu Kamal.

ISIS is down to approximately 1,500 fighters in the region of Iraq it controls known as Al-Qaim.