12:33 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Iraqi Forces, Shiite Militia Drive ISIL Out of Key Town

    © AFP 2019 / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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    Iraqi government forces and allied Shiite militia have retaken the town of al-Baghdadi, from where jihadists had threatened to attack an air base housing US troops, the Japan Times reports.

    Fighters from the Islamic State group seized the small western town in February, posing a threat to a nearby base where American forces trained Iraqi military.

    US ground forces were not directly employed in the battle, but “the coalition supported the operation with surveillance assets and advise and assist teams” attached to Iraqi headquarters units, said a statement from the headquarters of the US-led coalition forces.

    Iraqi and Kurdish forces, supported by Sunni tribes and Shiite militias, began to push back Islamic State group forces from a swath of territory the jihadis seized last year in their quest to build a so-called Islamist caliphate.

    The Islamic State group is notorious for its brutal tactics — including mass rapes, murders and kidnaps.


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