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Iraqi forces attack ISIL in Akashat near Syria border

Iraqi forces attack ISIL in Akashat near Syria border”

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

Akashat, which has natural gas reserves and was once a major source of phosphate production, lies some 100 kilometers south of al-Qaim.

The offensive, supported by a US-led air alliance, was also aimed at tightening Iraq's hold on its border with Syria, a spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command, Brigadier Yehia Rasool, said in a statement on Saturday.

Al-Qaim and the Euphrates towns of Rawa and Anna downstream form just one of two enclaves still held by ISIS in Iraq after a string of battlefield defeats this year.

The Iraqi army, paramilitary Hashd Shaabi force and the border guards force advanced in the vast desert area to free the Akashat village and to clear nearby areas, which is part of Iraq's Anbar province, Xinhua news agency quoted a senior military official as saying.

The group overran about a third of Iraq in 2014 in a sweeping offensive that allowed the militants to grab hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weaponry and vehicles left by the fleeing Iraqi forces.



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