On Saturday, the Iraqi Army, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Federal Police launched a large-scale military operation against the ISIS terrorist group in the western part of Anbar province.
PMU announces launch of liberating Akashat area operation west of al-Anbar through 4 axis pic.twitter.com/iTJPdIcmwx
— War Media Team (@warmediateam) 16 September 2017
According to the PMU media wing, the ISIS-held border town of Akashat will be the first target of the operation. Controlling Akashat, the army, the PMU and their allies will be able to establish a better link with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies in Syria via a land route thourgh the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Experts believe that this will allow Iran and the PMU to boost support that they provide to the Syrian government in battles on multiple fronts in Syria.
The operation came amid the growing tensions between the US-led coalition and the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance in the countryside of the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor.
Pro-government sources speculate that the PMU and the Iraqi Army may help Syrian government forces to retake al-Bukamal city from ISIS with own adavance towards al-Qaim. However, it’s possible that the army and the PMU may have no time for this later this month because of the tennsions with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government that seeks to turn a part of Iraq into a independent Kurdish state.