WASHINGTON — Iraqi security forces routed Islamic State fighters at a key hamlet in the first major fighting since pushing them from the strategic city of Ramadi, a senior Defense official said Tuesday.
The battles took place near Barwana, a hamlet across the Euphrates River from Haditha in western Anbar province. Fighters from the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, began attacking the town with car bombs and mortars on Jan. 3. They have used the open desert region as a staging area for attacks on Haditha, site of a major hydroelectric dam.
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