Iraq begins struggle for last IS-held city, Rawa

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Iraqi forces are seen on 4 November, 2017 in the centre of the city of al-Qaim, in Iraq's western Anbar province after retaking it from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists a day earlierImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Iraqi forces have turned their attentions to the city of Rawa after forcing IS out of al-Qaim

Iraqi forces have launched an offensive to recapture Rawa, the final city managed by so-called Islamic State.

The city, and some small parcels of land, are all that is still beneath the militants’ management in Iraq, after the bigger city of al-Qaim fell final week.

The group’s final city stronghold in Syria, Albu Kamal, fell afterwards.

Retaking Rawa within the offensive, which started on Saturday, would go away the jihadist group on the verge of full defeat in Iraq.

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The Joint Operations Command stated in a press release that two Iraqi infantry divisions and Sunni tribal forces had been being supported by “war planes”.

Rawa was considered one of a variety of cities on either side of the Iraqi-Syrian border which IS had designated a part of its “Euphrates Province”, which it had used to switch fighters, weapons and items between the 2 nations.

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2017

Area controlled by Islamic State group at the end of October 2017

2015

Area controlled by Islamic State group in January 2015

The cross-border province was additionally a logo of the jihadists’ intention to eradicate all the area’s frontiers and lay to relaxation the 1916 Sykes-Picot settlement, an emblem of the colonial division of the world resented by many Arabs and Kurds.

Albu Kamal and al-Qaim additionally shaped a part of this self-styled province.

Is this the top for IS?

IS has now been pushed out of about 95% of the land the group as soon as held in Iraq and greater than four.four million Iraqis have been free of its rule, in accordance with the US-led coalition.

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Media captionUS-backed forces could also be celebrating, however IS has not been defeated

The group has simply “months [remaining] at most as a proto-state”, the senior Royal Air Force (RAF) officer overseeing British air strikes towards IS in Iraq and Syria stated on Friday.

But Commodore Johnny Stringer informed journalists in London that IS would “almost certainly morph into an insurgent organisation” that will attempt to launch badaults within the two nations.

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