Baku. 13 July. REPORT.AZ/ Iraqi troops backed by mainly Shi'ite Muslim militias launched military operations on Monday to recapture the country's largest province Anbar from Islamic State militants, Report informs citing foreign media, local media said.
The announcement of the offensive comes two months after Islamic State militants seized Anbar's capital Ramadi, extending their control over the Sunni Muslim province west of Baghdad.
"At 5 o'clock this morning operations to liberate Anbar were launched," said a joint military command statement read out on state television.
It said the offensive was being carried out by the army, mainly Shi'ite militia known as Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) units, special forces, police and local Sunni Muslim tribal fighters.
The statement gave no other details, but military officers and Hashid Shaabi commanders have said the initial target will be the city of Falluja, about 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad.