Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces launched a broad operation to retake strategic areas in Anbar, a top commander said on Saturday.
Led by the elite Counter-Terrorism Service, forces from the police, army and PMF were making a final push to retake Hit, 145 kilometers (90 miles) west of Baghdad, from ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
“They have begun a broad operation to liberate Hit and Kubaysa,” Major General Ali Ibrahim Daboun, the head of the Al-Jazeera Operations Command, told AFP.
Kubaysa is a smaller town a few miles west of Hit, a key hub along the Euphrates that the Takfiris have controlled since October 2014.
Daboun said Iraqi security forces and PMF had retaken a cement plant west of Kubaysa and raised the Iraqi flag there.
“Members of the terrorist Daesh (ISIL) gangs have fled back into the town centre,” the head of the local council for Al-Baghdadi district, Malallah al-Obeidi, told AFP.
Al-Asad military air base, which houses a large contingent of US and other foreign military advisers, lies around 35 kilometers northwest of Hit.
Iraq’s security forces launched a final push against ISIL in Anbar’s provincial capital Ramadi late last year and established full control over the city last month.