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Iraq faces tough battle against IS desert hideouts

AFP reports:

Iraqi forces said Monday they face a tough battle against the Islamic State group in deep gorges and other natural hideouts in the western desert along the Syrian border, their last bastion in Iraq.

“Our units have cleared 50 percent of the total area of the desert of around 29,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq miles). The first phase is over,” General Yahya Rassoul, spokesman of the Joint Operations Command, told AFP.

“Now our units will proceed to clearing the rest of the desert zones, including Wadi (valley) Hauran,” he said.

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