Iraqi army launches major military operation against militant groups in Anbar province 2001143
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Defence & Security News - Iraq
|Monday, January 20, 2014 11:30 AM|
|Iraqi army launches major military operation against militant groups in Anbar province.|
Iraqi security forces and allied tribal militias on Sunday, January 19, 2014, launched a major offensive against militant groups in the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's western province of Anbar, the government said. "The troops of Anbar Operations Command in cooperation with the police imposed indefinite curfew starting from Sunday noon at 12: 00 p.m. to clear all the areas in Ramadi from Daish," Anbar's provincial command said in a statement.
Iraqi soldiers on the battlefield (Archive image)
It said the troops will clear and search all the houses and other buildings in Ramadi, some 110 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, looking for al-Qaida "sleeping cells which pose greater danger than those elements on the ground."
The defense ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told the state-run Iraqiya television that "the Iraqi army started a large operation with helicopter cover against Daish and terrorists in Ramadi."
Meanwhile, battles of the Iraqi troops backed by tribesmen against the gunmen continued near the town of Khaldiyah, some 30 km east of Ramadi, when the army helicopter gunships attacked gunmen positions in the areas of al-Jazira and Albu-Bali near Khaldiyah, the source said without giving details about casualties.
The helicopters also attacked gunmen positions at the areas of Zouba and Naimiyah in southeast of the restive city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, the source said without giving further details.
In Fallujah, the Iraqi army artillery and mortar pounded positions allegedly for militants linked to al-Qaida in several neighborhoods in the southern and eastern parts of the city, the source added.
"Our battle in the first place is to defeat and eradicate terrorists, although we welcome any solution, any proposal and any political meeting that must ensure the priority of destroying terrorism, al-Qaida, its formations and its allies," Maliki said in his speech in the city of Nasiriyah, some 375 km south of Baghdad.