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Iraq says major anti-IS operation along Syrian border 'successful'

The operation successfully located and destroyed trenches and shelters used by IS members [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 July, 2019

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The Iraqi Security Media Cell announced the results of an operation along the border with Syria that aimed to clear members of the militant Islamic State group from the area.
The Iraqi Security Media Cell on Tuesday announced the results of an operation along the border with Syria that aimed to clear members of the militant Islamic State group from the area.

In a statement it said the operation, that began at sunrise on Sunday, successfully located and destroyed trenches and shelters used by IS members.

The combined force of Iraqi troops and units from the Popular Mobilization Forces also eliminated IEDs and defused bombs in the area.

The operation was located in the Al Jazeera area, which is the desert situated between northern Anbar, western Salahaddin, and southern Mosul.

Iraq declared a new military operation to secure the vast western desert leading to the Syrian border on Sunday, amid fears sleeper cells were using the area to regroup.

The operation, dubbed "Will of Victory", began early on Sunday morning and would push to clear the remote territory between the provinces of Salahaddin, Nineveh and Anbar, a statement by the military said.

Iraqi armed forces, paramilitary units of the Shia-dominated Hashed al-Shaabi, tribal groups and US-led coalition warplanes were all taking part, according to the statement.

Iraq formally declared victory against the Islamic State group in late 2017, a few months after ousting the jihadists from their seat of power Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province.

The group lost their last sliver of territory in Syria - a small desert hamlet near the Iraqi border - in March.

But IS sleeper cells have managed to keep up hit-and-run attacks in desolate parts of Iraq, targeting government checkpoints, public infrastructure and local officials.

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