Iraqi Troops Encircled ISIS in Ramadi, Reinforcement Arrived
The Iraqi Army and Shia voluntaries of the Popular Mobilization Forces besieged Ramadi on Tuesday in preparation for the offensive to free it from the ISIL, whose members they also fought in Salaheddin.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said the Army troops advanced from four directions towards Ramadi, the capital of Al-Anbar province, some 110 km west of Baghdad, after laying siege on the terrorists and expelling them from five areas.
Besides, the forces loyal to Baghdad expelled the extremists from a military camp and a base belonging to the 8th Army division that was under control of the Takfiris of ISIL west of Ramadi, MNA reported.
Chief of General Staff of Iraq, Lieut. Gen. Othman Al-Ghanimi, said that the terrorist lost their support bases in the province and are no longer able to confront regular troops and allied Shia and Sunni militias.
During the latest clashes, the ISIL members abandoned their positions and weapons and fled from the battlefield, said Ghanimi, who announced that the campaign to free Ramadi will start soon.
Military sources said that hundreds of troops and many armored vehicles were deployed on Monday for the military operations.
In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, reinforcement troops, tanks, armored vehicles and artillery units arrived in the town of Khaldiyah, a provincial security source anonymously told Xinhua.
During the past few weeks, the troops fought fierce clashes with ISIS terrorists and managed to surround the city Ramadi, after seizing areas at the edges of the city.
Ali Dawood, head of the town hall of Khaldiyah, told reporters that dozens of families have left their homes in the besieged city of Ramadi, using the safe routes assigned earlier by the security forces, fleeing the imminent battles in the city.
The exodus of civilians from Ramadi came after the Iraqi authorities demand the remaining civilians to leave their homes for safer areas as the battles are looming to clear the towns in the province from the terrorist.
The departure of the civilians also came a day after the Iraqi aircraft dropped thousands of leaflets on the city and several major ISIS-held towns in the province such as Fallujah, Heet and Qaim near the border with Syria, urging the people to cooperate with the security forces by listening to a special radio station and to send information about the extremist militants in their towns.
Meanwhile, at least seven IS militants were killed when heavy clashes erupted near the ISIS-held town of Garma, some 40 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the security source said.
In addition, 12 ISIS militants were killed in an air strike by international warplanes on Sajariyah area, just east of Ramadi, the source said citing intelligence report.
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