Iraqi forces have totally encircled the government complex in Ramadi, the last stronghold of Islamic State militants in the western city, and are about to enter it, joint operations command spokesman Yahya Rasool says.
“We’re clearing the buildings and streets around the complex of bombs in preparation to go in,” he said. “I expect we will go into the complex in about an hour.”
Recapturing Ramadi, which fell to the militants in May, would be one of the most significant victories for Iraq’s armed forces since Islamic State (IS) swept across a third of the country in 2014.
The militants “seem to have fled the complex, we’re not encountering any resistance,” said Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for the counter-terrorism units that are leading the fight on the government side.
“We’re seeing lots of Daesh bodies, killed in the air strikes on the compound,” he said.
Ramadi is the capital of the mainly Sunni Muslim Anbar province in the fertile Euphrates River valley, just two hours drive west of Baghdad.
If the offensive in Ramadi succeeds, it will be the second main city to be retaken by the Iraqi Government after Tikrit, in April.
Read more: abc.net.au
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