Iraqi forces retake area near Syrian border from Daesh

Iraqi forces retake area near Syrian border from Daesh
In this file photo taken on Friday Nov. 18, 2016, Iraqi families, who fled the fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, cook next to a trench created by Kurdish forces to demarcate their border, as they wait to cross to the Kurdish areas, in the Nineveh plain, northeast of Mosul, Iraq. (AP)
Updated 04 June 2017

Iraqi forces retake area near Syrian border from Daesh

Iraqi forces retake area near Syrian border from Daesh

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces retook an area near the Syrian border from the Daesh group on Sunday as part of operations to expel the jihadists from strongholds in the country’s north.
The Hashed Al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) forces announced the “total liberation” of Al-Baaj district “with support from the air force.”
“The Iraqi flag has been hoisted above its buildings,” said a statement from the Hashed, an umbrella organization for pro-government paramilitaries that is dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias.
The Hashed on May 12 launched an operation to retake the Qayrawan and Al-Baaj areas west of Mosul, the country’s second city that is the target of a massive anti-Daesh operation.
The forces on May 23 announced they had retaken Qayrawan.
Both areas are in Nineveh, the province of which Mosul is the capital, and lie between territory under Daesh control in Iraq and Syria.
The jihadists took over large swathes of territory of Iraq and Syria in 2014, but have since faced offensives on several fronts in both countries.
Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition have since October been battling to oust IS from Mosul.
They are advancing on the last areas of the city still held by Daesh, but the presence of large numbers of civilians is slowing their progress.