ISIL withdraws from govt. building in Iraq’s Ramadi: Sources
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists have pulled out of the main government building in the central Iraqi city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, sources say.
The terrorists, under fierce strikes by the Iraqi army and volunteer forces, were compelled to withdraw from the building, leaving the surroundings booby trapped or on fire, Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network quoted Ramadi’s Mayor Dalaf al-Kubaisi and tribal leaders as saying on Saturday.
A day earlier, the militants had reportedly taken control of government headquarters in Ramadi and raised their notorious black flag over the building.
An Iraqi military spokesman said on Saturday that reinforcements have been sent to Ramadi in a bid to assist the forces fighting the ISIL in the city.
Describing the situation on the ground as “positive”, Brigadier General Saad Maan pledged that the terrorists will be pushed out of the city “in the coming hours.”
In an earlier development, a police official said the ISIL reportedly executed 70 people in the Albu Alwan, al-Thaela’a al-Sharqiya, al-Jamiyeh, and al-Sherka districts of Ramadi on Friday, Iraq’s al-Sumaria satellite TV network reported.
The source added that women and children together with security personnel were among those executed at the hands of the terrorists.
The ISIL militants also fired a number of mortar shells at residential areas in Ramadi. Tens of people either died or sustained injuries in the shelling.
Additionally, at least 10 police officers lost their lives and seven others sustained injuries when three vehicles rigged with explosives went off in quick succession in Ramadi on Friday.
ISIL losing top commanders
Early on Saturday, a team of US Army’s Delta Force commandos conducted a raid in eastern Syria and killed a senior commander of the ISIL terror group,known as Abu Sayyaf, and his wife Umm Sayyaf.
Sayyaf was in charge of ISIL’ oil and gas operations and was directly involved in the terrorist group’s command and control.
The American forces managed to capture Umm Sayyaf, an Iraqi national, and took her to Iraq for interrogation. They also freed a young Izadi woman who had been held as a slave by Sayyaf and his wife.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced on May 13 that Abu Ala al-Afri, the ISIL’s second-in-command, was killed in an airstrike by the US-led international coalition against the ISIL.
The attack, which hit the city of Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq, also killed dozens of other militants.
Afri had reportedly been left in charge of the group after ISIL leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi got injured.
Baghdadi reportedly sustained the injuries during a US-led coalition attack while he was traveling in a three-car convoy on March 18 in northern Iraqi province of Nineveh.
Iraq’s Military Intelligence Service issued a statement on May 12, saying Abu Walid, another senior commander of the Takfiris, had been killed by Iraqi forces in the capital Baghdad.
Since September 2014, the US along with its regional allies has been conducting airstrikes against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. This is while many of the countries joining the so-called anti-terror coalition, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been the staunch supporters of the Takfiri elements fighting the Syrian government.