All the military units, which participated two weeks ago in the process of cleansing the island and the Euphrates high, withdrew into the cities, in a sign that the combing operations were over there, although the government did not explicitly declare this.
According to sources close to the operations, the military campaign achieved its objectives two days ago, but without the capture of the border with Syria, which extends from the north of the Qaim to Rabia west of Mosul, which was used by the organization to urge to escape before the launch of the recent campaign.
The joint forces have established a 100-kilometer-long earth cover to protect liberated areas in the north of the Euphrates. During the clearing operations, it also detonated a number of camps, weapons and ammunition stores, while killing a very limited number of militants.
But the Security and Defense Committee warns of the danger of the Sahara’s survival without strict “surveillance” and the presence of more than 1,000 armed men present in those rugged areas.
The forces are currently engaged in the process of cleansing the desert of Anbar, which make up about 90% of the area of the province. A massive sweep of the valleys is expected soon, with the participation of the Anbar Operations Command, which was slow to carry out its tasks.
Last week Brigadier Yahya Rasul, spokesman for the joint operations command, confirmed that the units had cleared “50 percent of the total desert area of 29,000 square kilometers.”
The commander of the clearance operations of the Upper Euphrates and the island, Abdul Amir Yarallah, announced, on November 23 last, the launch of “a large-scale clearance of the island areas located between the provinces (Salah al-Din – Nineveh – Anbar),” with the participation of “army forces and the popular crowd.”
The withdrawal of troops
A source close to the military operations said that “the last campaign ended, and returned troops that have advanced from three provinces into the cities two days ago.”
The source, who spoke to (Al-Mada) yesterday, asking not to be identified, that “the process resulted in the bombing of a number of the headquarters of Daqash and found a pile of weapons and equipment.” Revealing “the establishment of a 140-kilometer-long cover from the north of Rummaneh to Haditha and Rawa to prevent the return of the organization from the desert.”
The military source pointed out that “the campaign killed a few militants who fled into the Syrian border.”
The organization used the failure to keep troops to the border strip, which extends from the north of Al-Qaim to Al-Baaj, to flee towards Syrian territory. The source stressed that “the tape is still open, but has not seen, in the past few days, any movement of the militants.”
The tape stretches 300 km from the north of Qaim to the Rabia border post, west of Mosul. The popular crowd had announced, in June last year after the liberation of the Baaj 50 km east of the Syrian border, his intention to continue the process of cleansing to the north of Qaim. But has not moved since then from its positions, without explaining the reasons for this.
The source said that “border control is part of the tasks of the leadership of the border forces, which includes 4 units,” adding that “the circumstances are unknown behind the lack of access of these formations to the border.”
Al-Mada did not obtain a comment from the Joint Operations Command on the fact that the operations of the Upper Euphrates were completed and that border guards were not deployed in areas north of Anbar.
Purification of the Hawran Valley
Since late November, joint operations have announced the start of the cleansing of the Horan valley, which runs from the Saudi border through Anbar and ending in Salah al-Din.
The island began operations last Sunday to clear the valley, starting from the south of al-Baghdadi (west of Anbar) 120 km. The valley extends about 450 km inside the territory of Anbar province.
A Western crowd said, days before his mission in Horan, that the island’s forces had cleared “27 villages with a depth of 86 kilometers.”
“Because of the vastness of the area, Anbar operations were supposed to start taking control of the valley, but that did not happen,” said Qari al-Obeidi, a leader in the western Anbar rally.
The security file in Anbar is under the supervision of two military commanders. The operations of the island oversee the north of Haditha to the Upper Euphrates, led by Major General Qassem Mohammadi, and includes the 7th and 8th divisions and the brigade of commandos belonging to the army.
While the Anbar operations oversee the south of Haditha to the highway and the Iraqi-Jordanian border, including the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. Led by Major General Mahmoud al-Falahi, and includes 1, 14 and 10 / Army, in addition to 17 regular regiments of the federal police, and 12 other security departments in addition to the Anbar police.
“Al-Anbar operations are slow, and most of the time they are inside the cities, and they have not combed the desert,” he said.
In a statement to Al-Mada newspaper last week, the mayor of the wetlands, Emad al-Dulaimi, said that “Al-Anbar operations recently carried out a limited combing operation in the Southern Judiciary Desert.” “The troops asked the shepherds and returned after they did not find any gunmen in the desert,” he said.
In the same context, a local official in Anbar said that ”
The official, who spoke to (the extent) on condition of anonymity, that “high-level leaders in the joint operations met yesterday with the leaderships in Anbar to resolve the problem between the parties.”
“The meeting ended with an agreement on the implementation of a joint military operation between the two leaders next week, to liberate the whole desert in the north and south of the wetlands,” the local official said.
“The sweep of the Horan Valley is not as easy as some people think,” said deputy Alexander Tout, a member of the parliamentary security committee. “US forces could not control it at the time.”
“These areas are still inhabited by ocra and underground camps belonging to an oppressive organization,” he said.
A member of the Security Committee believes that ”
“The desert has brought together all the fugitives from Mosul, Anbar and Salahuddin,” he said, adding that “control of the desert needs to restore the former air bases to support the ground forces.”
“The government has been told to increase intelligence and cooperation with the population, as well as the formation of an airborne regiment with four helicopters to follow the desert and the sheep herders who are believed to provide logistical support to Daash,” he said.