The Iraqi government began on Monday a long-awaited large-scale military operation to dislodge ISIS extremists from Iraq’s western Anbar province, a military spokesman announced.
The spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, said in a televised statement that the operation started at dawn Monday and that government forces are backed by Shiite and Sunni pro-government fighters. Rasool didn’t clarify whether the U.S.-led international coalition is taking part.
This is not the first time the Iraqi government has announced an operation to retake Anbar — where several key towns, including the provincial capital Ramadi, remain under ISIS control. In May, authorities announced an operation to retake Ramadi, but there has not been any major progress on the ground since then.