Iraqi Forces Liberate Country’s Last Town Held by ISIS

An Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service convoy moves towards Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 23, 2017. Photo: Staff Sgt. Alex Manne, U.S. Army.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated his forces on Friday on retaking the last Iraqi town that was held by Islamic State.

Mr. Abadi sayid in a statement released on Friday afternoon that Iraqi forces liberated Rawah in record time and are continuing operations to retake control of Iraq’s western desert and the border area with Syria.

The statement came just moments after Iraq’s Defense Ministry announced that Rawah — located 175 miles (275 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad — had been retaken from ISIS. The ministry said the assault on the town began at dawn and was complete within hours.

Pockets of rural territory in western Iraq, part of the Syrian town of Bukamal, as well as territory near Damascus and in Hama province are all that remain of the militants’ so-called “caliphate” that once stretched from northern Syria to the edges of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces launch operation to capture last ISIS-held town