ISIS militants attacked on Wednesday several positions held by Iraqi forces in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, killing at least 7 soldiers and wounding 16, according to a preliminary toll from security sources.
Iraqi forces were bringing reinforcements to the area under attack, near the city of Ramadi, as clashes continued several hours after the militants attacked the troops with suicide car bombs, mortars and machine guns.
ISIS militants were driven out from Ramadi in late 2015 but a low-intensity guerrilla war has continued in the region.
It was earlier reported that ISIS militants battled Iraqi forces near Ramadi west of Baghdad Wednesday after infiltrating government lines, a military source said.
“Terrorists infiltrated the Al-Tash and Majr areas south of Ramadi as well as the Kilometer Seven District west of the city,” a general who asked not to be identified told AFP.
Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, which has long been a bastion of insurgency and was retaken by the army from ISIS only in December 2015.
Troops and paramilitaries last week launched twin offensives against the militants’ last footholds in Iraq -- in the Euphrates Valley near the Syrian border and around the northern town of Hawija.