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Iraqi Forces Launch Fresh Anti-ISIS Operations in Syria

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The Iraqi air force carried out a strike on an Islamic State (IS) position inside Syria, state television reported on Monday citing a military statement, reported The New Indian Express (India).

The strike, ordered by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, destroyed a building used as a command and logistics support center by the group, it said.

The Iraqi air force has already carried out several air strikes against Islamic State in Syria since last year, with the approval of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and the U.S. -led coalition fighting Islamic State.

Abadi last month said he would "take all necessary measures if they threaten the security of Iraq," referring to the militants who just three years ago overran a third of Iraq.

The prime minister declared final victory over the ultra hardline group in December but it still poses a threat from pockets along the border with Syria and has continued to carry out ambushes, assassinations and bombings across Iraq.

Iraq has good relations with Iran and Russia, Assad's main backers in the seven-year-old Syrian civil war, while also enjoying strong support from the U.S. -led coalition fighting Islamic State.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored violent clashes today evening, between the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the International Coalition and with coordination with the Iraqi forces against the members of the “Islamic State” organization, in Al-Baghuz area on the Syrian – Iraqi border, at the eastern banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, and the clashes are accompanied by intensive artillery and rocket shelling by the SDF, amid overflight of the International Coalition’s warplanes over the area, and their targeting every once and while to positions of the organization in the area, and information about confirmed human losses in the ranks of the both parties, while the SDF managed to advance, amid their continued advancement to take the control of Al-Baghuz town, where the SDF try through this tactic to force the organization surrender through confining it in narrowest possible area and completely isolate it from its vicinity.

And the Syrian Observatory published yesterday, that it obtained information from reliable sources which confirmed to the SOHR that the preparations of a massive military operation in ISIS last enclave in the east of the Euphrates River, are still continuing by the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the International Coalition, and the sources confirmed to the SOHR that a coordination is underway between the Iraqi forces and the SDF, to start a military operation in the enclave of the organization which is located at the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, and composed of the villages and towns of Hajin, Abu al-Hassan, Sha’afah, Al-Baghuz as well as their farms, to end the presence of the organization in the area, where groups of the SDF met with groups of the Iraqi forces located on the Syrian Border from the side of Iraq, and they agreed on a mechanism to start the military operation against the organization in this enclave, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also obtained a video shows the SDF meeting with the Iraqi forces on the Syrian – Iraqi border, while shelling by the SDF is being carried out from time to time on ISIS controlled areas, in conjunction with rounds of clashes between the both parties in the vicinity of Hajin and other areas in the outskirts of the last remaining enclave of the organization on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River.

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published few days ago, that the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the International Coalition managed to advance in points and positions in the east of the Euphrates, within their military operation to besiege Hajin town through attacking Abu al-Hassan village in its east, within their attempts to force the organization to withdraw from Hajin, also the SOHR published during the past few days, that it monitored the outbreak of violent clashes in an attempt by the Syria Democratic Forces to control the entire remaining enclave of the organization in this area, and if Syria Democratic Forces were able to advance, they will end the presence of the organization completely east of Euphrates River, and then the organization will have only 2 enclaves in the far south of al-Hasakah and the far northern countryside of Deir Ezzor, which are adjacent to each other, and these violent clashes which are accompanied by intense missile and artillery shelling by SDF on the fight locations and with exchange of shelling on the clash areas and the contact lines; come after the continuous artillery shelling by the Syria Democratic Forces and the International Coalition, where the Syrian Observatory monitored the escalation of the missile and artillery shelling targeting Hajin town, and the enclave under the control of the “Islamic State” organization in the eastern banks of Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, in a prelude for a military operation through which the Syria Democratic Forces and the International Coalition aim to end the existence of the “Islamic State” organization east of the Euphrates River, also preparations are underway for another operation against the organization in enclave of the “Islamic State” organization in the southern countryside of Hasakah and the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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