Iraqi forces on Friday captured the city of Al-Qaim near the Syrian border from the Daesh terrorist group, according to an Iraqi army source.
“Army troops backed by Hashd al-Shaabi fighters and Arab tribal volunteers have completely liberated Al-Qaim’s city center,” Army Colonel Walid al-Duleimi told Anadolu Agency.
“The Iraqi national flag has been raised over the city’s local government headquarters,” he added.
Earlier Friday, Iraqi forces moved into Al-Qaim with a view to driving Daesh terrorists from their last remaining stronghold in Iraq’s western Anbar province.
According to al-Duleimi, Iraqi forces have also established control over the nearby Al-Qaim border crossing.
Located two kilometers from Al-Qaim city and 410 kilometers west of provincial capital Ramadi, the Al-Qaim crossing links the Iraqi city of Husaybah to the town of Abu Kamal in Syria’s Deir
“Our forces managed to retake the crossing after killing several Daesh elements,” said al-Duleimi, adding that “large numbers” of Daesh militants had fled across the border into neighboring Syria.
Last month, Al-Qaim became the last Daesh-held Iraq-Syria border crossing after Iraqi forces retook the Al-Walid and Rabia crossings, respectively located in Anbar and the Nineveh province.
Last month, the Iraqi army began a wide-ranging campaign aimed at capturing the cities of Rawa and Al-Qaim, Daesh’s last remaining redoubts in Anbar province.
The notorious terrorist group has recently suffered a string of crushing defeats in both Iraq and Syria after overrunning vast swathes of territory in both countries in 2014.
Reporting by Suleiman al-Qubeisi and Amir