Iraq News

Iraqi tribes pound ISIS pockets in Anbar's desert

By Khalid al-Taie


Iraqi forces and tribesmen find an ISIS weapons cache in the Anbar desert. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Defence Ministry]

The threat posed by "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) remnants to the cities of Anbar has significantly diminished, Sheikh Qatari al-Samarmad al-Obeidi, an Anbar tribal leader, said Thursday (July 12th).

This is a result of "combing campaigns and the continuous targeting of the group's cells and secret hideouts in the desert", he told Diyaruna.

"These campaigns continue relentlessly along two main fronts," he said.

"The first extends from the desert of the city of al-Baghdadi and Horan valley in the south to the desert of al-Rutba and the Iraqi border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia," said al-Obeidi.

The second front starts from the desert of al-Tharthar towards the administrative borders of the provinces of Salaheddine and Ninawa, all the way to the city of al-Qaim and the border with Syria, he said.

"During these campaigns, dozens of ISIS hideouts are being discovered and blown up, some of them old and others newly created," he said.

Security and tribal forces supported by international coalition aircraft this week destroyed four tunnels and caves in the desert of Kubaysa, southwest of Heet, al-Obeidi said.

"Concentrated air and ground attacks throughout the week have killed at least 27 terrorists," he said, most of whom were hiding in those tunnels to prepare for attacks on nearby towns and villages.

"All areas in our province enjoy strong security and stability," he said. "The infiltration of militants and suicide attackers from the desert into cities has diminished dramatically."

"Since the beginning of this year, we have witnessed only two infiltration incidents into the cities of Haditha and al-Baghdadi, but they were successfully and immediately thwarted thanks to our forces' vigilance," he said.

These continuous successes have helped to strengthen co-operation between security forces and the local population, he added.

"The people stand with their [security] forces as a bulwark against the terrorists and are maintaining the security of their areas," he said.

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