BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces announced the launch of a major operation on Thursday to flush remaining Daesh group fighters out of the western desert near the border with Syria.

"The Iraqi army, the federal police and the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation paramilitary units) this morning began clearing the Al-Jazeera region straddling Salaheddin, Nineveh and Anbar provinces," the head of Joint Operations Command, General Abdelamir Yarallah, said in a statement.