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Iraqi Forces Retake Remote Western Town From Islamic State


Iraq's military says it has regained control of the remote western town of Rutba from the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

It said on May 19 that counterterrorism forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes, "completely liberated" the district, 360 kilometers west of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces launched the drive to retake Rutba, located in Anbar Province along the main road to Jordan, three days earlier.

Coalition spokesman U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren described IS resistance in Rutba as "moderate to light," but said the Iraqis were still clearing enemy forces.

IS fighters overran large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory in June 2014, and later made further advances in Anbar.

Troops and allied tribal fighters last month retook the town of Hit and in February declared that the provincial capital of Ramadi had been liberated.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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