BAGHDAD – Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft say they have retaken a small town from the Islamic State group in the sprawling western Anbar desert.
The military says IS militants were pushed out of Rutba on Thursday. The town is 425 kilometers, or 260 miles, west of Baghdad. It fell to IS nearly two years ago after the militant group overran Iraq's second largest city of Mosul and captured large swaths of territory across northern and western Iraq.
Rutba was a key IS staging ground for attacks elsewhere in Anbar. It also lies along a road leading to two key border crossings, to Jordan and Syria.
IS still controls significant territory but Iraqi ground forces backed by coalition aircraft have recently won a string of territorial victories against the extremists.