Iraqi forces push into last IS urban stronghold near Syrian border

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BAGHDAD, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — Iraqi security forces battling Islamic State (IS) militants on Saturday initiated a push into the city of Rawa and the nearby town of Rumana to drive out IS militants from their last urban stronghold in the Iraqi western border with Syria, the Iraqi military said.

The soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division and the 8th Armored Division, backed by the paramilitary Sunni tribal fighters launched an operation to free the city and the town within the first phase from major offensive to clear the vast rural areas in north of the Euphrates River near the border with Syria, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, Commander of Liberation of West Anbar Operations said in a brief statement.

On Oct. 26, the security forces began a major offensive to free the last urban IS stronghold in Iraq near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The IS militants seized large swaths of territory in Iraq in 2014. After three years of battles, the Iraqi forces have retaken most of the occupied areas from the terrorist group, including the country’s second largest city Mosul.

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