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Iraq retakes territory from Islamic State: army

1:59pm EDT - 01:09

The Iraqi government says it has recaptured the desert area to the west of Samarra from Islamic State forces, and says the operation will move down to recapture Anbar. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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For Iraqi troops, this battle has been won. They say they have chased out Islamic State militants in the desert area west of Samarra. Booby-trapped vehicles were destroyed in the fight, according to officials, along with military hardware and a large quantity of weapons. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SOLDIER, SERGEANT ABDUL SALAM ABDUL AZIZ, SAYING: "We completely liberated Samarra's desert from the Da'esh terrorists and we are coming soon to Nineveh, God willing." The operation here was part of a wider assault to recapture the remaining parts of Salahuddin province... And later, Anbar. The iraqis say they have Islamic State on the run. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) COMMANDER OF 15TH INFANTRY DIVISION, MAJOR GENERAL IMAD MAJHOUL AL-SILAWI, SAYING: "They lost their balance and withdrew to the far edges of the desert. They left behind the bodies of their dead without being able to evacuate them." The recaptured area is now being held by the 5th Division Federal Police Force after the withdrawal of the army. The immediate goal now, is to keep it.

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Iraq retakes territory from Islamic State: army

1:59pm EDT - 01:09