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The New Arab

Iraq launches offensive near Syria border

Iraqi troops are advancing towards the Syria border [AFP]

Date of publication: 16 September, 2017

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Iraqi forces will advance towards the Syria border, where the some of the last IS fighters in the country are still entrenched.
Iraq has launched a new offensive towards the Syria border, where some of the country's last remaining Islamic State group fighters are making a last stand.

Pro-Baghdad forces have advanced towards the IS-held town of al-Akashat, which lies close to the Syria border.

Troops are then expected to make a final sweep along the Euphrates River, where some of the last IS fighters remain.

The area around Akashat in Iraq's Anbar province is a pivotal logistics point, with highways linking to Syria and Jordan.
The surrounding territories are rich in gas and also where the border post al-Qaim is based.

Joint Military Command Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said the US will provide air support for the Iraqi forces during the offensive, south of the Euphrates River.

Iraqi forces captured the whole of the IS-held city of Mosul in July, which was seized by jihadis in their 2014 campaign in Syria and Iraq.

IS captured much of northern and western Iraq during the offensive, when the militant leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself "caliph" in a Mosul mosque.

Since then, the group has lost much of its territories in Iraq and Syria. 

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