Iraqi forces recapture Husaibah border crossing with Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-04 00:54:29|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Friday recaptured a border crossing point with Syria as the troops are fighting to dislodge the Islamic State (IS) militants from the nearby city of al-Qaim, the Iraqi military said.

"The Iraqi army reseized full control of the Husaibah border crossing point in al-Qaim area," said Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Liberation of West Anbar Operations.

The Iraqi forces from the army's seventh and eighth Divisions liberated the neighborhoods of al-Tanak, al-Masharie, Ghaza and al-Sikak in the city of the al-Qaim, some 330 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Yarallah said.

Yarallah also said that the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi brigades freed the neighborhoods of Shiekh Ali, industrial area and Nahdha al-Gharbiyah in Karabla area in al-Qaim, which itself extends along the road leading to Husaibah crossing point.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement that he "blesses the heroic Iraqi forces as they entered the city of al-Qaim and liberated Husaibah border crossing."

Earlier in the day, Yarallah said the Iraqi army, Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces, paramilitary brigades of Hashd Shaabi and Sunni tribal fighters broke into the areas of Se'da, Karabla and Husaibah, which are part of the city of al-Qaim.

On Oct. 26, the security forces initiated their advance towards the last urban IS stronghold in Iraq near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Meanwhile, the troops also made a significant progress toward the IS-held city of Rawa, about 80 km east of al-Qaim, and took positions outside the southern edges of the city.

Later, the troops will continue to clear the vast rural areas and desert in north of the Euphrates River.

The IS militants seized large swaths of territory in Iraq in 2014. After three years of battles, the Iraqi forces have retaken most of the occupied areas from the terrorist group, including the country's second largest city Mosul.