Iraqi army, allies take strategic Anbar site from Daesh

– 70 percent of western province is now under control of Iraqi security forces, local Anbar official tells Anadolu Agency

– Iraqi troops and armed Sunni tribesmen on Thursday recaptured Camp Bravo in the western Anbar province from members of the Daesh terrorist group, according to a senior army officer, according to Anadolu Agency.

“Backed by tribal fighters, the army’s 10th Division has liberated the camp, which is located in the Ramadi Island region north of the city of the same name,” Major-General Ismail al-Mahlawi, head of the army’s Anbar Operations Command, told Anadolu Agency in exclusive comments.

Ramadi is the regional capital of Anbar province.

“Daesh elements fled the area, paving the way for the camp’s liberation,” al-Mahlawi said.

According to the officer, the camp’s capture will allow the army to sever the terrorist group’s supply lines from Anbar’s Haditha Desert region.

“After liberating the camp, our troops now surround Ramadi Island from the north, south and east,” al-Mahlawi asserted.

From the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq until 2011, the camp had served as a headquarters for U.S. forces deployed in Anbar.

Two days ago, Iraqi forces launched simultaneous attacks aimed at restoring strategic areas of Anbar — including the Hit and Al-Baghdadi Island regions — from Daesh.

In a related development Thursday, Raji Barakat, a member of the Anbar provincial council’s security committee, told Anadolu Agency that some 70 percent of the province was now under the control of Iraqi security forces.

Iraq’s security situation has deteriorated markedly since mid-2014, when Daesh overran vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions, including much of Anbar.

In recent months, the Iraqi army — backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground — has managed to retake much territory. Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in firm control of several parts of the country, including the northern city of Mosul.