Iraqi forces continue clean-up operation in Ramadi
Iraqi military and volunteer fighters on December 28 declared that they had recaptured Ramadi, although later reports said some neighborhoods of the capital of Anbar were still under the control of Daesh.
Dulaimi said pro-government forces were clearing more neighborhoods of Ramadi to flush out pockets of militants and evacuate trapped civilians.
Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service (CTS), along with army, police and local tribal forces are involved in the operation.
Reports say the militants are no longer capable of fighting back as they have lost their key positions in the city. The mop-up is mostly concentrated in the eastern neighborhoods, where the militants were reportedly redeployed after pulling out of the city’s central districts.
Other officials said at least 30 members of Daesh were detained earlier on Friday as security forces spotted them among the civilians moving out of Ramadi.
Police chief Hadi Irzayij said the suspected militants “were attempting to flee Ramadi by blending in with civilians.”
He said the relatively slow pace of operation for Ramadi’s full recapture was due to the fact that security forces act with great care about explosive devices on roads and in buildings in the city.
“We are following a plan put together in a way that will prevent casualties in the ranks of the security forces,” Irzayij said.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who toured Ramadi right after its liberation, said the recapture would pave the way for Iraq’s long-anticipated offensive into the city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh, which has been under the control of Daesh since the summer of 2014. Abadi said 2016 will be the last year for Daesh in Iraq.