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Iraq forces pounding ISIL militants near Ramadi

An Iraqi volunteer fighter holds an Iraqi flag in al-Nibaie area, northwest of Baghdad, on May 27, 2015. (AFP photo)

The Iraqi army along with forces belonging to Popular Mobilization Units have inflicted heavy losses on the ISIL Takfiri group as Baghdad starts a massive operation to liberate the restive province of al-Anbar.

According to an Iraqi army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, the joint Iraqi forces stormed the positions of the Takfiri group near the provincial capital of Ramadi on Tuesday.

“The Iraqi army and the Hashed al-Shaabi are pounding IS (ISIL) positions with rockets and mortar rounds east, west and south of Ramadi,” the army officer said.

Another Iraqi officer said the joint forces are advancing on the city from three main axes.

Iraqi authorities announced the start of the major operation to “liberate Anbar” on Monday, with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi saying that he will announce the news of liberation of the province soon.

“The heroes of our armed forces, police, al-Hashd al-Shaabi volunteers and tribal fighters will announce the news of victory of Anbar liberation soon, God willing,” the office of the Iraqi premier said in a statement.

Ahmed al-Asadi, the spokesman for al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces, said on Tuesday that the joint forces have liberated a number of areas including the village of Tahouna on the outskirts of the city of Fallujah in َAnbar.

Iraqi security forces backed by al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces “managed to liberate the areas of Shihabi, al-bujasm, al-Halabsa and other areas in the north of Saqlawiyah,” Asadi said.

Iraqi forces managed to kill scores of militants belonging to the ISIL Takfiri group in the district of al-Baghdadi in Anbar on Monday.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since Takfiri ISIL militants began their march through Iraqi territory in June 2014.

The heavily-armed terrorists took control of the city of Mosul, north of the capital Baghdad, before sweeping through parts of the country’s heartland.

A new report released by the United Nations shows that terrorism and armed conflict have left nearly 15,000 civilians dead and twice as many wounded in Iraq since the start of 2014 as the conflict-stricken Arab country continues to battle the Takfiri ISIL militants.

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