On September 20, the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) began its attack on Anah town 85km west of al-Qa’im city located at the Syrian-Iraqi border, according to Iraqi sources. The advance started after the Iraqi forces successfully besieged the town from 3 directions.
Iraqi forces are slowly advancing because of a high number of IEDs planted by ISIS fighters around Anah town. However, Iraqi sources believe that the town will be captured within days epically that ISIS fighters are evacuating their families from the town.
In a related development, Iraq Prime Minister Office announced in an official statement that Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived to al-Makhmur town east of al Hawija. According to the official stament, the al-Abadi inspected military forces, and reviewed the plans for the upcoming operation to liberate the Hawija pocket south of Kirkuk city.
— Haider Al-Abadi (@HaiderAlAbadi) 20 September 2017
Meanwhile, US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon spokesperson for the US-led coalition announced that the Iraqi Air Force dropped 3million leaflets in Hawija and Sharqat areas. The leaflets called on ISIS fighters to surrender, and provided safety instructions for civilians according to Colonel Dillon.
Iraqi Air Force dropped 3million leaflets in Hawija/Sharqat/elsewhere: Urging #ISIS surrender & providing safety instructions for civilians
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) 20 September 2017
The Hawija military operation is expected to be launched within days if not hours. It’s unlikely that the Iraqi forces would attack al-Qa’im city before the end of the military operation in Hawija.