Iraqi forces advance towards western town held by ISIS

March 31, 2016 12:08

BAGHDAD - Iraq's counter-terrorism forces backed by army troops and US-led coalition air strikes advanced towards the western town of Hit on Thursday in an attempt to dislodge Islamic State militants, the military said.

A senior officer from the counter-terrorism forces, the elite US-trained units which led the recapture of nearby Ramadi three months ago, said his troops were one kilometer from the town center, 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Baghdad.

The recapture of Hit, strategically located on the Euphrates River near Ain al-Asad air base where several hundred US forces are training Iraqi army troops, would push Islamic State further west towards the Syrian border, cutting a connection to the northern town of Samarra and leaving Falluja their only stronghold near the capital.

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