Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Major General Ismail al-Mahallawi, head of the army’s Anbar Operations Command, said Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, wrested control of the island and killed scores of Daesh militants.
“Our forces are now deployed across the island and are working to defuse landmines planted by Daesh militants,” he said.
In mid-2014, Daesh captured Mosul — Iraq’s second largest city — along with vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions, including much of Anbar.
In recent weeks and months, the Iraqi army — backed by a 60-nation coalition led by the U.S. — has managed to retake much territory. Nevertheless, Daesh remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
Iraqi troops and peshmerga fighters have recently captured several areas on the outskirts of Mosul, which Iraqi officials have vowed to recapture by year’s end.