Iraqi forces recapture last IS-held town

Dream of caliphate buried but IS not dead yet

Iraqi army forces backed by pro-government tribal fighters and USA -led coalition air power have retaken the city of Rawa in Iraq's western Anbar province, an Iraqi military commander confirmed on Friday.

At dawn, Iraqi military units and local tribal fighters pushed into the western neighborhoods of Rawah in western Anbar province and after just five hours of fighting, Iraqi forces retook the town, according to Brig.

After the liberation of the strategic city of al-Qaim and a series of victories in smaller villages along the Euphrates, the Iraqi army has announced the initiation of an operation to liberate the small town of Rawa.

An Iraqi army general contacted by AFP forecasted that the battle for Rawa would be quick as "the majority of IS fighters who were in the town have fled towards the Syrian border". Gen. Yehya Rasool said remaining IS forces in Rawa were chased into the nearby Anbar Desert, and that additional airstrikes would defeat last pockets of resistance.

Numerous group's top leaders have been killed as Syrian and Iraqi forces with backing from Russia, Iran and a US-led coalition rolled back the territorial losses that saw the militants declare a "caliphate" roughly the size of Britain.

USA -led coalition forces supported the operations to retake Rawah and Qaim with intelligence, airstrikes and advisers, coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon said.

The Iraq Report is a weekly feature at The New Arab.

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