Iraq: Military Retakes Ramadi from ISIS

5 years, 11 months ago - December 28, 2015
Iraqi troops have retaken the city of Ramadi from ISIS, the country's military said.

Troops raised the Iraqi flag on top of the government compound in central Ramadi, military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul said Monday.

Ramadi, a predominantly Sunni Arab city, fell to ISIS in May, a major setback in the country's effort to contain the terror group.

Iraqi TV showed Iraqi soldiers celebrating what the government is calling the "liberation" of the city. During the live coverage, the sounds of explosions and gunfire could be heard in the background.

The city has strategic importance. Anbar province is the heartland of Iraq's Sunni Muslim population, and Ramadi is close to Baghdad.

Rasoul said he is confident the military will retake other cities captured by ISIS.

"We will liberate all the other places like we liberated Juif al Nasser and Tikrit and Baiji and other areas."

The U.S.-led coalition that has been launching airstrikes on ISIS targets congratulated the Iraqi military Monday.

"The clearance of the government center is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work by the Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Iraqi Air Force, local and federal police and tribal fighters," coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.

Fighting in and around the city is likely to continue for some time, analysts say. ISIS is expected to stage ambushes in outlying suburbs, to prevent the city's pacification and rehabilitation.

In the view of the Institute for the Study of War, "Ramadi will remain exposed to counterattacks by ISIS, particularly from the north from ISIS-held Hit district, if (Iraqi security forces) shift forces away from Ramadi to focus on other operations."

Text by CNN

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