Iraq gears up for new Anbar push with deployment of major reinforcements
BAGHDAD - Iraq deployed reinforcements to a military base in Anbar on Monday for an impending operation against the Islamic State group in the western province, a senior officer said.
ISIS overran large parts of Anbar province in 2014, but Iraqi forces recaptured provincial capital Ramadi from the jihadists and are now setting their sights on areas farther up the Euphrates river valley.
"Major military reinforcements... arrived today to the Ain al-Asad base," army Major General Ali Ibrahim Daboun said.
The forces from the counter-terrorism service and police will take part in an operation in the coming days to retake the town of Heet and the nearby Kubaisa area, Daboun said.
The Al-Asad base is located northwest of those areas, while Ramadi, where government forces are also deployed, lies to its southeast.
ISIS overran swathes of Iraq in 2014, but its forces have since regained significant ground from the jihadists with the help of US-led air strikes.