On November 3, the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) liberated al-Qa’im city, which had been the last stronghold of ISIS in Iraq. Within 24 hours Iraqi government forces advanced towards al-Qa’im and captured the following areas:
- Al-Qa’im city;
- Husibah border crossing west of al-Qa’im city on the Syrian-Iraqi border;
- Al-Qa’im hills and al-Aghuat hill around al-Qa’im city;
- Al-Jabriyah and al-Batikha valleys;
- Al-Sikak and al-Rumana bridges east of Euphrates river.
During its advance, government forces killed 47 ISIS fighters and destroyed 8 vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), according to the PMU media wing. Dozens of ISIS positions inside al-Qa’im city and around it were also destroyed by government forces.
Back on October 26, the Iraqi Army officially announced a start of the military operation to liberate al-Qa’im city and Rawa town east of it.
On the same day, the Iraqi Army and PMU advanced rapidly and captured the entire desert area south and southeast of al-Qa’im city including the al-Qa’im–Akashat highway. Government forces even reached the outskirts of the city and captured the State Company for Phosphate and the Agricultural Research Service 10km southwest of it.
On October 27, the Iraqi Army and PMU secured 43 km of the Akashat-al-Qa’im road and an area of 301km2 south of al-Qa’im city. However, the government forces advance slowed down due to a dust storm that hit the operation area.
On October 31, Iraqi Army and PMU resumed its advance and captured Ubaydi town 15km east of al-Qa’im city. Later the military operation was halt again due to the bad weather.
On November 3, government forces finally liberated al-Qaim.
The next target of the Iraqi Army is the last town under ISIS control in Iraq – Rawa. The town is located on the northern bank of the Euphrates River. Like al-Qa’im city, Rawa will likely be liberated by the Iraqi Army in few days only.
The PMU intelligence said on November 3 that the ISIS leadership in Iraq collapsed after losing al-Qa’im. ISIS fighters and commanders in Iraq even lost the connection with the ISIS leadership inside Syria, according to the media outlet.