4 Hashd Shaabi members killed in IS attack in western Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-29 17:58:23|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Four paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed and another wounded in an attack by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a local official said on Thursday.

The attack took place late on Wednesday night when the extremist IS militants attacked a Hashd Shaabi convoy of military vehicles while patrolling a village outside the town of al-Kheirat near the provincial capital Ramadi, which is located some 110 km west of Baghdad, the mayor of al-Kheirat town, Imad al-Dulaimi, told Xinhua.

The attackers destroyed one of the convoy's vehicles during the attack before they fled the scene, al-Dulaimi said.

A provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua that a joint force from the Iraqi army and Hashd Shaabi fighters were dispatched to the area and conducted a search operation looking for the attackers.

The attack occurred a day after the Iraqi forces backed by Iraqi and international coalition aircraft concluded the fourth phase of a major offensive dubbed "Victory Will" to hunt down remnants of IS militants in western Iraq.

In July, the Iraqi forces launched the first and second phases of the "Victory Will" offensive, aimed at securing areas in the north of Baghdad and the provinces of Anbar, Salahudin and Nineveh.

Then the troops concluded the third phase of the major offensive in the provinces of Nineveh and Diyala on Aug. 5.

The security situation in Iraq has dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated IS in late 2017. But IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.