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Iraqi security forces, supported by coalition airstrikes, are clearing territory northwest of Baghdad along the Euphrates River valley as they continue to prepare a push to retake the city of Mosul held by Daesh (ISIS).Amid these distractions, Iraqi forces are concentrating on the Daesh-held town of Hit in the western province of Anbar. Commanders here say the battle for Hit is key to building on their current momentum, cutting Daesh supply lines and linking up government forces to the west and the north of Baghdad in preparation for an eventual push on Mosul. Aboud of the counterterrorism forces said suicide car bombs continue to be particularly deadly even as government forces advance northwest across Anbar province.Over the past 10 days, as coalition airstrikes on Hit have increased and Iraqi forces have closed in on the small Euphrates River town, counterterrorism forces say more than 10,000 civilians have fled.Meanwhile battles on the outskirts of Ramadi continue, further slowing the progress of the government forces.
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