Iraqi forces launch new counterterrorism operation

Iraqi forces have launched similar operations in these desert regions, particularly in Anbar, to prevent ISIS from exploiting its porous border.
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Iraqi forces search the area in Tarmiyah north of Baghdad following clashes with Islamic State group fighters,  February 20, 2021. (Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP)
Iraqi forces search the area in Tarmiyah north of Baghdad following clashes with Islamic State group fighters, February 20, 2021. (Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Army launched a new operation to pursue “terrorists” in the country’s western desert border regions on Wednesday. 

The Army’s 7th Infantry Division is leading the operation near the border with Syria, tweeted Yehia Rasool, the security spokesperson of the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

“The Iraqi armed forces continue their heroic operations to pursue the remnants of the terrorists and dry up their sources,” read Rasool’s tweet. 

Iraq has a long border with Syria. Furthermore, most of its border regions are sparsely-populated desert areas extending from western Anbar province to Nineveh province in the northwest. 

Iraqi forces have launched similar operations in these desert regions, particularly in Anbar, to prevent ISIS from exploiting its porous border.

Security forces, and Prime Minister Kadhimi, have repeatedly said they are ramping up efforts to secure the borders against infiltration.

ISIS often launch hit-and-run attacks against civilians and security forces from their hideouts in remote areas of the country’s north and west. 

On May 23, six policemen and civilians were killed while putting out a crop fire in Kirkuk province in a bloody attack by the militants. 

Between 2014 and 2017, ISIS controlled up to one-third of Iraq, including the country’s second city Mosul. The Iraqi part of the group’s self-styled caliphate was declared territorially defeated in December 2017.