Iraqi forces, backed by volunteer fighters, have cleared the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants from a wide area around the strategic Haditha dam.
ISIL terrorists have made numerous attempts to seize the dam on the River Euphrates, in the western province of Anbar.
Iraqi forces launched a “wide attack” against militants to clear the areas surrounding the Haditha district, military spokesman Lt Gen Qassem Atta said.
Iraqi forces and volunteer fighters also retook Barwana, east of Haditha, from ISIL militants, who abandoned their weapons and vehicles while retreating.
“If ISIL had gained control of the dam, many areas of Iraq would have been seriously threatened, even Baghdad,” Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, the leader of a tribal militia, said
Meanwhile, Iraq’s parliament is scheduled to convene later on Monday to vote on Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi’s proposed government.
The ISIL controls large swathes of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its members into neighboring Iraq in June and seized large parts of land there in a lightening advance.
The terrorists have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, during their advances in Iraq.