Iraqi military forces with the help of other Sunni tribal fighters and US-led coalition airstrikes have recaptured the western town of Rutba from the terrorist group Islamic State (Isis), Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said.
The small town of Rutba, 360km to the west of Iraq's capital Baghdad, is on the road to Jordan. Hundreds of IS (Daesh) militants were based in the town at any given time, according to Reuters.
The military forces started the incursion into Rutba on Monday from multiple directions and faced little resistance from the IS fighters.
Spokesperson for the coalition, US Army Col Steve Warren, was quoted by the BBC as saying, "A lot of the enemy, frankly, ran away when they saw this force coming."
He added that Rutba has been serving IS as an important support zone to carry on operations in areas further north and east and its recapture will have an impact on the economies of both Iraq and Jordan.
The military has retaken many of the areas in northern and western Iraq from IS and according to coalition estimates, the militant group has lost around 35% of its territory across Syria and Iraq since its onslaught began in 2014. But it still controls large swathes of territory and cities including Mosul, which the Iraqi forces have pledged to take this year.
The forces and coalition believe that the failure to retain territory pushed IS to bomb civilian areas. In the last week, a host of attacks in and around Baghdad killed 200 people.
Col Warren said, "They appear to have chosen to revert to some of their terrorist roots."
He added: "This is an enemy who has not found success in some time, so what they are trying to do is find a way to throw a punch that actually can land", according to the BBC.