MIDDLE EAST

Iraq captures Daesh-held Baaj area near Syria border

IRAQ CAPTURES DAESH-HELD BAAJ AREA NEAR SYRIA BORDER
Pro-government fighters on Sunday captured Baaj, an area near border with Syria, from Daesh militants, according to an Iraqi police officer.

"More than 500 Hashd al-Shaabi fighters forced their way into the southern entrance of Baaj district," captain Jabbar Hassan told Anadolu Agency.

He said the pro-government forces managed to seize control of the area after deadly clashes with Daesh militants.

According to Hassan, scores of Daesh militants had fled the area toward the Syrian border.

The capture of Baaj shrinks the area under control of Daesh militants in the border region between Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi forces, backed by air cover from a U.S.-led coalition, are currently engaged in a widespread offensive to dislodge Daesh from Mosul, the terrorist group's last stronghold in Iraq.

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