Iraq forces suffer casualties as they advance in Anbar

Iraqi forces have gained ground against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near al-Tharthar in Anbar province, but suffered casualties in scuicide attack carried out by the armed group, defence ministry has said.

The ministry in a press release said on Friday that its forces joined by members of Shia militias known as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) killed at least 15 ISIL fighters and detonated 70 planted bombs.

At least 47 ISIL fighters were killed in air strikes conducted by the Iraqi army, the ministry said.

“Our troops were able to advance on their targets in our operation to recapture Anbar…. We were also able to evacuate 15 houses which had explosives in them,” the defence ministry spokesman said.

“Iraqi warplanes targeted ISIL’s arms storage. We were able to recapture the main highway out of Anbar province. Several other ISIL military bases were targeted, including ISIL checkpoints.”