BAGHDAD, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Up to ten Iraqi soldiers were killed and six others wounded on Tuesday in an attack by Islamic State (IS) militants on a military base in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said.
The attack occurred at about 5:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) when IS militants attacked the military base at Sakkar area in east of the town Rutba, some 370 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Fierce clashes erupted between the two sides before the attackers withdrew to the desert, leaving ten soldiers killed and six others wounded, while the bodies of seven IS militants were left at the scene, the source said.
Rutba, lies on the Baghdad-Amman international road, was taken by the IS in 2014, but was recaptured by the security forces in mid-May 2016.
Observers believe that IS group intensified attacks against Iraqi security forces in other provinces across Iraq, particularly the Suni provinces of Kirkuk, Salahudin and Anbar to revenge to their heavy casualties in Mosul.
The Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from their major stronghold in the western side of Mosul in northern Iraq.
Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups, such as the IS, on the U.S., which invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003.