DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:00 A.M.) – On Monday, the Iraqi Air Force conducted dozens of sorties over ISIS-held western Anbar amid a wider bid to prevent jihadist militants from a safe haven on the desert border with Syria.
According to a military source close to Al-Masdar News, three car bombs factories and three weapons storage bases were set alight by Iraqi warplanes in the ISIS controlled town of Rawa, anchored on the Euphrates River.
Meanwhile, heavy clashes broke out in nearby city of Hīt (otherwise liberated in April 2016) on Sunday evening after two ISIS sleeper cells opened fire on the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Iraqi Army. Although skirmishes lasted for a couple hours, both suicide bombers were neutralized while government forces sustained zero casualties:
With the Islamic State withdrawing all its armored vehicles to Syria prior to last year’s encirclement of Mosul, car bombs played an integral part of the Islamic State’s strategy of defense for Iraq’s second largest city, leading to a 9-month long battle subsequently.
On Monday afternoon, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi finally announced Mosul city was 100% liberated and free from ISIS insurgents: