– Iraqi army forces and allied tribesmen have recaptured Haditha Island in western Iraq from the Daesh terrorist group, a military commander said Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency.
“Our forces have liberated the island, 160 kilometers west of the Anbar province,” Major General Qassim al-Mohammadi told Anadolu Agency.
The move came one day after Iraqi forces launched a military offensive to liberate the northern Shirqat district and two other areas in the western Anbar province from Daesh.
“Our forces and allied tribal fighters are now moving to liberate al-Baghdadi island from Daesh group,” al-Mohammadi said.
According to the military commander, Iraqi forces have defused scores of explosive devices and destroyed rocket launchers in Haditha Island.
He said clearing the island from Daesh terrorists “will diminish the danger posed by the terrorist group on Haditha city and al-Baghdadi district”.
Iraq’s security situation has deteriorated markedly since mid-2014, when Daesh captured Mosul — the country’s second largest city — along with vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
In recent months, the Iraqi army — backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground — has since managed to retake much territory. Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in firm control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
Iraqi officials have repeatedly vowed to recapture Mosul by the end of the year.