Iraqi armed forces on Saturday dislodged Islamic State from a natural gas-rich border area with Syria, according to the military, Reuters reported.
Iranian-backed forces fighting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army simultaneously announced the start of an offensive to reach the same border area from the opposite side.
An Iraqi military statement said Akashat, a desert region located south of the Euphrates river, was captured in an offensive which had been announced earlier in the day.
The attack on Akashat is meant to pave the way for the recapture of urban centers in the Euphrates valley, including the border post of al-Qaim, it said.
Iranian-backed Shi‘ite paramilitary forces known as Popular Mobilization and Sunni tribal fighters known as Tribal Mobilization took part in the offensive, it added.
The Iraqi air force dropped thousands of leaflets overnight on Akashat as well as on al-Qaim and the towns of Ana and Rawa, alongside the Euphrates, telling the militants to surrender or face death, the statement said.