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    Fighters from the Iraqi pro-government forces watch smoke billow during a military operation against the Islamic State (IS) group near Amriyat al-Fallujah, west of the capital Baghdad in the Anbar province, on May 5, 2016

    Iraqi Army & Militia Ready to Crush Daesh in Western Iraq (Exclusive Video)

    © AFP 2019 / MOADH AL-DULAIMI
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    Sputnik has got its hands on exclusive video showing Iraqi anti-Daesh forces preparing to advance on the strategic town of ar-Rutba in Iraq's Anbar province.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Rajeh al-Issawi, the head of the Security Committee of Anbar's Provincial Council, said that the Iraqi armed forces, along with police and militia forces from among the local population, have completed preparations for a major offensive against Daesh militants.

    The terrorist group has controlled the town of 22,000 since June 2014; since then anti-Daesh coalition air power has conducted dozens of airstrikes in and around the town, strategically located about 110 kilometers from both the Jordanian and Saudi borders.

    "The country's armed forces, along with three regiments of Anbar province police, and three militia regiments, supported by the Iraqi air force and coalition air power, will attack ar-Rutbah in a three-pronged attack to liberate the territory from Daesh," al-Issawi said. "The most important flank will be the area of the 160th kilometer to the west of Ramadi," he added.

    Anti-Daesh forces have concentrated their power about three kilometers from the terrorists' positions and have finished preparations to launch their offensive. According to Kurdish media, the operation has already started.

    Sputnik has received exclusive video shot by a militia member participating in the assault. The footage shows dozens of pickup trucks with armed militia fighters in their beds, along with trucks painted in camo with more troops inside.

    One militia fighter tells the amateur cameraman: "We are ready to fight with Daesh, and not just for ar-Rutbah. We will fight them until we squeeze them to the borders. We are ready to drive them to Syria!" 

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