Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:27PM
US and British soldiers chat at the Basmaya base, southeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, January 27, 2016. (AFP photo)
US and British soldiers chat at the Basmaya base, southeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, January 27, 2016. (AFP photo)

The United States has decided to build new military bases in Iraq’s Anbar Province in an alleged bid to counter Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the volatile region.

An Iraqi military source said on Wednesday that the two bases will be set up in the Hamarah region northeast of the city of Fallujah and in areas close to the Iraqi-Syria border.

Iraqi military and allied volunteer fighters managed to recapture Anbar’s provincial capital of Ramadi in December, purging militants from the area nearly one year after it was blitzed by Daesh.

The unnamed Iraqi source, who was described as an officer in the Anbar Operation Command, said that the US military claims the increased presence of its troops in the province is in line with countering the rising influence of Daesh.

The officer added that US military commanders in Iraq have repeatedly declared in meetings with officials in Baghdad that Washington’s strategy would be to increase its military presence in Anbar, a province hardly hit by violence and insecurity since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The US military has been running two other bases in Anbar’s Habbaniyah and Ayan al-Assad regions. Washington has also been leading a so-called international coalition against Daesh, with warplanes of US and allies often carrying out sorties against the alleged positions of the group in Iraq and Syria.  

Daesh overran parts of Iraq in June 2014 with militants capturing the northern city of Mosul.

Iraqi forces have managed to retake some key positions, including the cities of Tikrit and Baiji in the northern province of Salahuddin. Officials vowed after the liberation of Ramadi that the successful operation was to be a prelude to clearing all Iraqi territories from Daesh.