Daesh forced out of al Baghdadi, says US

Al Baghdadi operation was part of a broader campaign to defeat the terror group in Saladin and Anbar provinces.

Iraqi security forces, supported by the U.S.-led coalition and tribal fighters from Anbar province, have cleared an Iraqi town of the Daesh terror group, the U.S. said Friday.  

The police station and three Euphrates River bridges were recaptured in the town of al Baghdadi, according to a statement by the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation that oversees U.S.-led coalition efforts against the militant group also known as ISIL. 

The bridges have been held by Deash since last September.

The town is several miles northeast of al-Asad, a sprawling military compound where militants last month launched a failed effort to breach the U.S. base.

The al Baghdadi operation was part of a broader operation that Iraqi forces have been preparing for weeks on Daesh targets in Saladin and Anbar provinces located in the north of Baghdad. 

“From Feb. 22 – March 6, in support of the government of Iraq’s campaign to defeat ISIL, the coalition executed 26 airstrikes to facilitate the maneuver of the Iraqi Security Forces and their successful attacks,” said the statement.  

Iraqi security forces backed by al-Hashid al-Sha’bi, an Iraqi Shiite militia, and tribal fighters, seized control of al-Dour from Daesh on Friday in the northern province of Saladin, Iraqi government television reported.

Al-Dour, a strategic location south of Tikrit, was completely freed by Iraqi forces.

Backed by Shiite militias, security forces also launched a ground offensive against Daesh on Monday to recapture Tikrit, the birthplace of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, aimed at closing in on the Daesh stronghold of Mosul.

In addition to airstrikes, the coalition supported the operation with surveillance assets and advise-and-assist teams that provided operational and intelligence assistance to Iraqi forces, according to CENTCOM. 

“Furthermore, the Iraqi Security Forces with coalition support, succeeded in pushing ISIL from seven villages northwest of al Baghdadi on the road to Hadithah,” the statement read. 

Clashes between Iraqi forces and Daesh have been ongoing since last June when the militants seized Mosul and other territories in Iraq.