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Iraqi officials: next battle is regaining Anbar from ISIS

The ‘next battle’ against ISIS, after liberating Tikrit, would be to retake Anbar, Iraqi officials are saying

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The office of Iraq's Prime Minister said Wednesday the country’s “next battle” against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, after liberating Tikrit, would be to retake the Anbar Province.

“Our next stand and battle will be here in the land of Anbar to completely liberate it,” Haider al-Abadi said from a base in the province west of Baghdad, according to his office.

The statement from the office of Abadi came shortly after the country’s Defense Minister, Khaled al-Obeidi spoke at a press conference in which he also confirmed that the operation to retake Tikrit had been conducted by Iraqi forces and supported by airstrikes from the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

Obeidi announced that the next battle will be to retake Anbar, while noting the operation would be different from the one conducted in Tikrit.

The defense minister denied that Iranian advisors were seen during the operation to retake Tikrit or any on-ground battle in Iraq.

Al-Obeidi made the remarks as he spoke to reporters after a meeting held in Jordan for countries that are part of the anti-ISIS coalition.

He was received earlier in the day by Jordan’s King Abdullah at Al Husainiah Palace to discuss the latest regional developments, the local Petra News agency reported.