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Iraqi troops free last major IS stronghold

Iraqi government troops have liberated the country's last IS-held town of Rawa

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Iraqi government troops have liberated the town of Rawa in the Anbar province, the last big stronghold of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) in the country, the Alsumaria TV channel reported citing Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, the offensive's commander.

"The troops and militia units, supported by the international coalition’s aircraft, have fully liberated the town of Rawa from the IS group," he said.

According to the latest reports, militants have suffered heavy losses, the remaining members of illegal armed groups have fled to a desert in the country’s west.

The Iraqi military earlier announced the launch of the operation to free Rawa, located on the Syrian border, which had remained under the IS control since the summer of 2014. Ground forces advanced in three directions, supported by the US-led coalition’s aircraft.

According to Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji, regaining control over Rawa means that "from the military standpoint, Iraq has done away with the [IS] group."

On November 3, Iraqi government troops liberated the town of Al-Qaimand then reached Rawa, located 40 kilometers to the east. In the past few days, an anti-terrorist operation was carried out on the approaches to the town.