Baghdad, Up to 28 people were killed and 20 others wounded on Saturday in clashes and air strikes by Iraqi forces on Islamic State (IS) militants across the country, security sources said.
In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, security forces and allied militias, known as Hashd Shaabi (popular mobilization), retook control of Abu Fleis village near Habbaniyah town, some 80 km west of Baghdad, after heavy clashes with IS militants that killed 14 IS fighters before the militants withdrew, a provincial security source told Xinhua.
The battle came a day after the IS militants seized Abu Fleis village in an attack on the positions of the security forces.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Tash area in south of the IS-held provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, when IS militants attacked positions of security forces and Hashd Shaabi militias, leaving seven security members killed and five others injured.
The battles also resulted in the destruction of an armored vehicle and two military vehicles, the source said, without giving further details about casualties among the extremist militants.
Also in the province, two people were killed and eight others wounded when an Iraqi helicopter gunship pounded suspected IS positions in Mal’ab district in central Ramadi.
The IS group has seized most of Anbar province and has been trying to advance toward Baghdad in the past few months, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shia militias have pushed them back.
Near Baghdad, three roadside bombs went off simultaneously near an army patrol in Madain area, some 30 km south of the Iraqi capital, leaving four soldiers killed and four others wounded, an interior ministry source said.
In Salahudin province, a policeman was killed and three others were wounded in a clash with IS militants in Fat’ha area, just north of the town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad.
The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since June 10, 2014, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and IS militants.