Iraqi forces launched an operation to retake the last stronghold of ISIL in the western part of the country.
The soldiers and Anbar provincial police began moving on the town of Ana on Tuesday morning.
Daesh still controls large parts of the valley in the neighboring Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, but it is under pressure there from Syrian pro-government forces and a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.
The Iraqi military source said the assault on Ana and its surrounding district was being supported by US-led coalition air strikes and military advisers on the ground. Quoted from BBC.
However, their progress was slowed initially by dozens of traps.
“The objective is to bring the entire province of Anbar back into the fold of the nation,” said Lt Gen Rashid Flaih, head of Anbar’s paramilitary units.
Ana, 90km from the Syrian border, is one of three Iraqi towns in the Euphrates river valley held by ISIL.