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Iraqi Forces Fighting ISIL in Ramadi Reach Tigris River, Push towards City Center

23 December 2015 19:19


The Iraqi forces have made a considerable advance in the strategic city of Ramadi in Anbar after they reached the Tigris River and are preparing to enter the city center after crossing al-Khor bridge, a senior commander of volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) announced on Wednesday.

“The Iraqi forces have reached al-Khor region and they are preparing to cross this bridge and the Tigris River,” Raed Raisan said today.

The commander said that the ISIL has planted mines all over al-Khor bridge, adding that the bridge will lead the Iraqi forces directly to the city center.

Raisan reiterated that only the Hashd al-Shaabi forces are helping the Iraqi army in the Ramadi operations.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi security forces continued to gain ground in Ramadi city, and opened the path to the central parts of the city where hundreds of ISIL terrorists were under siege.

On Tuesday, the army won back the al-Dubat neighborhood and al-Jirayshi district in the South of Ramadi city.

Iraqi forces also retook Al-Armal neighborhood and killed over a dozen ISIL terrorists.

Reports said on Wednesday that Iraqi security forces restored security to the road between Albo Dhiab – Al-Jirayshi in the North of Ramadi.

The Iraqi forces also secured the road between Al-Warar barracks and 100th Road near the center of Ramadi.

The Iraqi Government estimates that there are 350 ISIL terrorists in Ramadi.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi army chief of staff, Othman al-Ghanemi, said the city of Ramadi will be purged of the ISIL terrorists within days.

Battlefield sources announced on Tuesday that the Iraqi Army troops have launched a joint massive operation against ISIL’s fortified positions in the Central part of Ramadi in Anbar province.

“The Iraqi army stormed the first defense lines of the ISIL terrorists in the city center and is now engaged in a heavy street battle with the Takfiri terrorists,” the sources said.

“Around 250-300 ISIL militants are trapped in the city center with no way to escape and the pro-government forces are resolved to utilize this chance to hunt them one by one,” the sources added.

“The engineering units of the Iraqi army have been busy since the early hours of this morning to dismantle over a thousand Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) planted by the ISIL across the city center,” the sources said Tuesday.

“The Iraqi forces have limited use of artillery shelling on ISIL positions in the city in a bid to avoid civilian casualties,” the sources added.

Iraq’s anti-terrorism department said its forces entered the residential areas in Ramadi and are advancing towards the governmental buildings.

Assisted by massive air raids, the forces are pushing to purge all neighborhoods.

On Monday, the Iraqi army and popular forces freed 50% of Albu Ziyab region in the Northern parts of Ramadi from the grip of the ISIL terrorist group.

Brigadier General Ismail al-Mahlavi, the commander of al-Anbar Liberation Operations, said that a large amount of ISIL weapons and equipment have been destroyed and the terrorists have fled half of Albu Ziyab territories.

He said that the Iraqi army forces as well as tribesmen participated in Albu Ziyab operations.

His remarks came as the security forces in the province of Anbar in Western Iraq announced that most of the city of Ramadi has been won back by the Iraqi army and popular forces.

“60 percent of Ramadi is now under the control of the Iraqi forces and it has been purged of Takfiri terrorists,” Raje Barakat, member of Anbar governor office’s security committee, said.

He reiterated that dozens of militants were killed in the Iraqi forces’ operations.

Barakat said that the Iraqi forces were advancing in Ramadi city from several directions and the ISIL came under their siege in the city center.

Meantime, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi announced that the Iraqi forces were close to taking full control of Ramadi city.

“Losing Ramadi city was a heavy defeat to ISIL, but we have managed to change the balance of power in the city and seizing Ramadi will be a fundamental change,” Obeidi added.

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