Iraqi forces retake town from ISIS

2016-03-10 19:14
Civilians hold white flags as they leave their houses after clashes between Iraqi Security forces and ISIS extremists outside Ramadi. (Osama Sami, AP)

Civilians hold white flags as they leave their houses after clashes between Iraqi Security forces and ISIS extremists outside Ramadi. (Osama Sami, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Baghdad - Iraqi forces retook a town from the Islamic State jihadist group in Anbar province on Thursday and evacuated 10 000 civilians as they advanced up the Euphrates valley, a security spokesperson said.

"Counter-terrorism forces and army troops liberated the Zankura area in a swift military operation," Sabah al-Noman, spokesperson of the elite Counter-Terrorism Service, told AFP.

"They evacuated 10 000 people who were transferred to a safe area," he said.

An army colonel in the region said they would be offered first aid and then taken to camps for displaced people.

Zankura lies on a bend in the Euphrates river northwest of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province that Iraqi forces brought under full control last month.

The rural area around 125km west of Baghdad is on the way to Hit, a town which Iraqi forces have declared as their next target.

Noman claimed 80 ISIS fighters were killed in the operation, but gave no figure for casualties in government ranks.

"Our forces also arrested 56 Daesh (ISIS) members who had shaved their beards and were trying to blend in with the fleeing families," the spokesperson said.

Noman said the Iraqi flag was raised on the highest building in Zankura.

The sprawling province of Anbar - which borders Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia - was at the heart of the "caliphate" that ISIS proclaimed in 2014.

The jihadist group still holds most of the province, but the noose is tightening around some of its key bastions.

The city of Fallujah, 50km west of Baghdad, is almost completely surrounded by a mix of Iraqi forces.

Federal forces are also pushing down from Salaheddin province towards Haditha, a city in western Anbar which ISIS never took, but has attacked relentlessly since 2014.

The US-led coalition, which has played a significant part in enabling the advance of government troops across Anbar, reported four air strikes in the Ramadi area on Wednesday.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, 44% of the more than 3.3 million people displaced in Iraq since the beginning of 2014 are from Anbar.

Read more on:    isis  |  iraq

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.