DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:45 A.M.) – Islamic State insurgents in western Anbar still represent a force to be reckoned with after jihadist raids continue to harass Iraqi Army bases in the largely uninhabited desert not far from Syria and Jordan.

Targeting an Iraqi Army outpost north of the junction town of Ar-Rutbah, ISIS militants carried out a deadly operation which saw their forces overrun the small military base.

Meanwhile, clashes also continue in the northern city of Mosul where the Iraqi Armed Forces have deployed the bulk of their personnel, totaling over 100,000 troops.

Once ISIS is defeat at Mosul, the Iraqi Army is expected to refocus its attention to Anbar province, known to be a hotbed for jihadist fighters.

The battle for Al-Qa’im will be especially important as it will allow Iraqi forces to push across the border into the Deir Ezzor governorate, an oil-rich region which the Popular Mobilization Units have vowed to liberate with support from Damascus.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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