The Iraqi Joint Forces Command declared on Tuesday the start of the operation to liberate the province of Ramadi.
The command’s media office issued a statement, saying: “The Iraqi Joint Forces Command declares the start of operations to Liberate Anbar.”
The move comes as the Iraqi forces are going on with cleansing areas surrounding Baiji city, the statement added, according to Iraqi TV, al-Sumaria.
Earlier on Tuesday, al-Anbar council member Adhal Obeid al-Fahdawi, said that the Iraqi forces had cut supply lines for ISIL south of Ramadi, noting that the forces were readying for the awaited operation.
For its part, AFP news agency reported that the Iraqi forces, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) launched an operation in desert areas northeast of Ramadi Tuesday in a bid to cut off the Takfiri militants.
The agency quoted Ahmed al-Assadi, spokesman for the Hashed al-Shaabi as saying that the operation will see a mix of security forces and paramilitaries move south from Salaheddin province.
“The operation’s goal is to liberate those regions between Salaheddin and Anbar and try to isolate the province of Anbar,” Assadi told AFP.
He said it had been dubbed “Operation Labaik ya Hussein” (at your service O Imam Hussein).
The PMF is known as “al-Hashd al-Shaabi” in Arabic. These forces are made up of local militants who volunteered to fight beside the Iraqi army following ISIL’s takeover of several areas across the country last summer.