More than 10,000 tribal fighters in Iraq have backed Iraqi troops and U.S.-led coalition air forces in an attack on the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), seizing control of two districts to the east of Ramadi, according to Iraqi government officials.
The attack on Wednesday came as Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi visited the al-Habbaniya military base in Ramadi city to monitor the progress of the military operations, an official told Anadolu Agency.
The military operations, which started from Ramadi city, aimed to liberate all areas of the western province from the terrorist group, Sabbah Karhout Anbar province's council chief told Anadolu Agency.
Major General Qasem al-Mohammadi Anbar, the province's military operations chief, stated that Iraqi forces and the tribal fighters alongside Iraqi and U.S.-led air forces had managed to seize control of the districts of al-Sajariya and al-Fallahat from ISIS in the east of Ramadi.
At least 37 ISIS militants were killed in the operations, al-Mohammadi said.
The Iraqi forces slowly advanced in all the areas around Ramadi city, exercising caution as ISIS militants had planted improvised explosive devices, he added.
Meanwhile, clashes between Iraqi forces backed by the Shiite militia of al-Hashid al-Shaabi and ISIS took place over the oil-rich area of Hermin in Saladin province.
The Iraqi army had seized control of a part of the area containing 33 oil wells last month.
Hadi al-Amiri, a commander of the Badr group which belongs to the al-Hashid al-Shaabi Shiite militia, told AA that ISIS was attempting to retake control of the areas that it had lost, which have economic significance for the terror organization.
In the eastern province of Diyala, security sources said that 12 Iraqi soldiers had been killed and 14 others injured, and that 34 ISIS militants had been injured, in clashes during the past 48 hours in the joint areas between the provinces of Diyala, Saladin and Kirkuk.
Clashes between Iraqi forces and ISIS have been ongoing since June 2014 when the armed group seized Mosul and other territories in Iraq.