Iraq’s armed forces stormed the center of Ramadi on Tuesday, a spokesman for the counter-terrorism units said, in a drive to dislodge Islamic State (IS) militants from their remaining stronghold in a city they captured in May.
The operation to recapture Ramadi, a Sunni Muslim city on the river Euphrates some 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, began in early November after a months-long effort to cut off supply lines to the city, whose fall to Islamic State was a major defeat for Iraq’s weak central government.
Progress has been slow because the government wants to rely entirely on its own troops and not use Shi’ite militias in order to avoid rights abuses such as occurred after the recapture of the city of Tikrit from the militants in April.
The Baghdad government also wanted to spare civilians and give them the opportunity to leave the city.
“Our forces are advancing toward the government complex in the center of Ramadi,” the counter-terrorism units’ spokesman Sabah al-Numani said. Read More