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Iraqi Defense Ministry Rejects US Role in Winning Back Anbar’s Khalediya region

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The Iraqi defense ministry hailed the unsparing efforts of the country’s volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) in the liberation of Khalediya Island in Anbar province, and said that the US-led coalition forces have had no role whatsoever in the recent victory.
“The liberation operation of Khalediya was exemplary and the US-led anti-ISIL coalition did not help Iraq’s joint military forces in this regard,” Iraqi Defense Ministry’s Spokesman Colonel Yahya Rasoul said.

Colonel Rasoul reiterated that the Hashd al-Shaabi forces have sped up the capture of Khalediya Island, and said, “The Iraqi forces have devised a new strategy in the fight against the ISIL to cut the terrorists’ crucial supply lines in a faster and more effective way.”

Earlier this week, Iraq’s joint military forces won back Khalediya Island and the Iraqi army’s demining experts are currently defusing the bombs and the improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In a relevant development on Friday, Anbar Operations Commander Major General Esmayeel al-Mahlawi announced that the Iraqi air force had destroyed the ammunition depot of the ISIL in the Northern part of the city of al-Ramadi, killing several terrorists.

“The air raids resulted in the destruction of ISIL’s military hardware, including rocket launchpads,” al-Mahlawi said.

He said that at least six terrorists were killed in the Iraqi airstrikes.

Also on Wednesday, Iraq’s joint military forces seized back a strategic airbase controlled by the ISIL in the Western part of Anbar province on Wednesday.

“H3 airbase which is located 40 kilometers from the town of al-Rataba in Anbar is now under the full control of the Iraqi forces,” the Arabic-language media quoted senior Volunteer Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) Commander Nazem al-Jugheifi as saying on Wednesday.

Tens of ISIL terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured in the Iraqi forces’ offensive.

Last week, the Iraqi army destroyed several tunnels of the ISIL terrorist group as well as a bomb-laden factory in Bu Obeid and Bou Bali regions in the Eastern part of Ramadi.

The Iraqi army discovered ISIL’s tunnels and destroyed them in Bu Obeid and Bu Bali regions.

In a statement, the Iraqi army announced that three ISIL terrorists who had hidden inside the tunnels were killed and their hideout in Bou Ali Jassem area came under CH4 fighter jets’ raids.

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