BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – The Iraqi army has decided not to take assistance from the U.S. troops in operations against the Daesh terrorist group in al-Anbar province.
The Arabic-language service of Sputnik news agency reported that the first stage of operations to cleanse al-Anbar and rural areas at common borders between Iraq and Syria and Jordan started on Wednesday morning.
A security source said the Iraqi army has filed no request for U.S.-led coalition experts to help them arm F-16 fighter jets with missiles, and used Iraqi technicians.
The source said that only the Iraqi forces take part in the operations and no foreign forces, specially the Americans, will be present in the battle.
"The Iraqi army’s air force started the operations today with Sukhoi and F-16 fighter jets low altitude flights over al-Anbar province,” he added.
The Iraqi security forces have launched a major operation to hunt down Daesh terrorists in Iraq’s Anbar and border areas with neighboring Syria and Jordan pm Wedmesday, the Iraqi military said.
The Iraqi forces started at dawn the first phase of the major operation, dubbed Operation Heroes of Iraq, Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, deputy commander of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, said in a statement.
The troops pushed in five routes to clear 26,238 square km of areas of the remnants of Daesh terrorists and to promote the stability across the province, the statement added.
"Iraqi warplanes of F-16 and Sukhoi began flying at very low altitudes in the operation’s areas and nearby city centers in response to the requirements of ongoing operation,” the statement said without giving further details.
Late in 2017, Iraq declared full liberation of its territories from Daesh terrorists after Iraqi forces seized the whole border areas with Syria and nearby desert in western Iraq.
However, small groups or individuals of Daesh terrorists still try to infiltrate into Iraq from neighboring Syria through the roughly 600 km long border with vast rugged areas and desert land.