Iraqi security forces and Shiite militia launced an operation on Tuesday to drive out DAESH terrorists from desert areas northwest of Baghdad and cut their supply routes between western Anbar province and the northern city of Mosul.
Efforts of the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition to break DAESH control of large swathes of Iraq have shifted towards Mosul, the largest city under the DAESH control.
Last year, Iraqi government forces retook the key cities of Tikrit, Baiji and Ramadi.
Iraqi security officials said that the current operation called al-Jazeera Security, referring to the desert area, was launched from west of the northern cities of Tikrit and Samarra.
"These operations will play a significant role in cutting all the supply routes in areas still under the terrorists' control," Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told state television.
The operation is aimed at driving the terrorists from open desert used to transport supplies and launch regular attacks on the government-controlled cities of Tikrit and Samarra, the officials said.
The offensive seeks to prevent DAESH terrorists from moving from the western areas of Falluja and Thirthar towards Tirkit and Mosul in the north, said Colonel Mohammed al Asadi, a military spokesman in Salahuddin province, where Tikrit is located.
"Iraqi army, federal police, counter-terrorism forces and Hashid Shaabi are participating in the military campaign and were deployed on the fronts with air support from the Iraqi and coalition air force," Asadi said.
The Hashid Shaabi is a coalition of mainly Iranian-backed Shiite militias mobilised to fight DAESH.
Asadi also said that DAESH terrorists carried out three bomb attacks against the advancing Iraqi armed forces west of Tikrit, but they were intercepted by air strikes. The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement distributed online by its supporters.