Iraq ‘close to ending’ bombing campaign

Iraqi forces are targeting IS fighters in a major blow to the militants’ core supply route, which is believed to include the border town of Al-Tanf.

Iraqi forces have been launching attacks against the group’s stronghold in eastern Anbar province, near the border with Syria, since early June.

They have so far killed more than 600 IS fighters, including about 250 in a single operation.

The operation began with airstrikes on the town of Qayyarah near the Syrian border in early June, but has since expanded to include other areas of the province, including Anbar’s northern and western areas.

Al- Tanf was one of IS’ most important supply routes to the Syrian city of Aleppo, and IS fighters there had already been under attack.

“The main aim of the operation was to destroy the militants, as they are the most important link to Aleppo, where they are also hiding, and they also hold the key to reaching the eastern part of Syria,” a senior Iraqi military official said.

“Our priority is to destroy their bases and take them out.”

Al-Qayyah was IS’ first major foothold on Iraq’s border with the Kurds, which the Iraqi government has tried to recapture from the jihadists.

Iraqi officials have said the military operation in Anbar is part of a wider push to retake eastern Syria, where the group has been backed by Russian air power and the US-led coalition.

The Iraqi military has also been carrying out air raids in the area since mid-June, but they have failed to clear the militants.

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