MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Terrorists of the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) militant group have left the strategically important city of Ar Rutbah in western Iraq, the governor of the city said on Sunday.
"IS militants have completely retreated from Rutbah," Imad Ahmed was quoted by the Iraqi Alsumaria news channel as saying.
The Daesh, a group outlawed in Russia and many other counties, is currently in control of large areas of Syria and Iraq. The group is notorious for its brutality and many human rights violations, including on-camera executions of foreign hostages posted online.
The Daesh are Sunni militants who denounce the Shia Muslims, making up almost 70 percent of the Iraqi population, as infidels. The Daesh has carried out numerous terror attacks and committed many human rights atrocities in the country.
The Daesh took control of Ar Rutbah in mid-2014, becoming one of the first cities which the militants occupied in Iraq. The city is considered of strategic value as it is located on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, and it allows the militants to better control the western border and transfer weapons and ammunition. It also occupies a strategically important spot on the Amman-Baghdad road, and the Mosul–Haifa oil pipeline.
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