The media bureau of the volunteer forces, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement that the fifth phase of Will of Victory operation began early on Monday morning, and would push to clear the remote territory between the provinces of Karbala, Najaf and Anbar, Presstv Reported.
The statement added that members of the Iraqi army, police and units of the Hashd Sha’abi – supported by Iraqi Air Force warplanes – are all taking part in the offensive.
On August 27, the Iraqi military announced the conclusion of the fourth phase of the Will of Victory operation in western Iraq.
A statement by the media office of the Joint Operations Command said on August 5 that the Iraqi army, police and Hashd al-Sha’abi units, backed by the Iraqi Air Force fighter jets, had launched the third phase of the major offensive in the eastern Diyala province and Nineveh province in the north.
The statement said the troops had begun search operations in rural areas near the towns of Miqdadiyah, Jalawla and Khanaqin in Diyala province.
Also in Nineveh province, the troops launched an operation to clear the rugged areas of al-Atshanah and the mountain ranges of Badush and Sheikh Ibrahim in west and northwest of the provincial capital city of Mosul.
The second-in-command of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, said in a statement on July 20 that Iraqi military forces had launched the second phase of the Will of Victory operation to hunt down Daesh remnants north of Baghdad and areas nearby.
The statement noted that the offensive aims to “beef up security and stability in areas north of Baghdad and surrounding areas in the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar.”
It said that units from the Baghdad Operations Command, command operations from Diyala, Samarra and Anbar, the Federal Police Command, rapid response teams, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and the special forces regiment of the Operations Department of the Chief of Staff of the Army as well as the Special Task Force of the Directorate of Military Intelligence were participating in the offensive.
Iraq's army and the voluntary forces began the first phase of the Will of Victory operation early on July 7, the military said in a statement, adding that the operation was aimed at securing the province of Anbar and the central and northern regions of Salahuddin and Nineveh.