Iraqi army forces began an operation to release the al-Qaem and Rawa regions in al-Anbar (west) near the Syrian border, local sources reported.
The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, known as al-Hashad al-Shabi, are also taking part in the offensive against the Islamic State group, according to sources.
The offensive to recover al-Qaem and Rawa, considered the last two areas controlled by the Islamic State group on the banks of the Euphrates River, follows heavy bombardment in the province of al-Anbar by the Iraqi air force.
On another front, Iraqi forces took control of the Rabia border crossing in the northern province of Nineveh on Wednesday, ensuring full security of the Iraqi-Syrian border in northern Iraq.
During that same day, Iraqi police forces were able to repel a major attack by the Islamic State group in the city of Tikrit, capital of the central province of Salah al-Din.
Last July, Iraqi forces liberated the northern city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, considered the de facto capital of the Islamic State group in Iraq.
In the following months after Mosul, other urban centers and areas such as the cities of Tal Afar, Hawija, also in northern Iraq, were liberated from the Islamic State group.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said earlier this month that "this year we will see the end of Daesh (Islamic State group) in Iraq."
Reports suggest that the Syrian army is also planning to launch a parallel offensive to reclaim Albukamal, a city along the Euphrates River near the Iraqi border.