Iraq launches operation to clear ISIS from desert bordering Syria

Iraqi forces launched an operation on Thursday to clear the desert bordering Syria of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The assault is seen as a final campaign to rid Iraq of the militant group, the military said. Troops from the Iraqi army and Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces were taking part in the campaign against militants hiding in a large strip of border land, Reuters reports. The objective behind the operation is to prevent remaining IS groups “from melting into the desert region and using it as a base for future attacks,” according to army Colonel Salah Kareem.