Iraq forces pounding ISIS around Ramadi

2015-07-14 19:58
Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters gather in central Ramadi before attacking ISIS extremists west of Baghdad. (AP Photo)

Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters gather in central Ramadi before attacking ISIS extremists west of Baghdad. (AP Photo)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Baghdad - Iraq's army and allied paramilitaries attacked Islamic State group (ISIS) positions around Ramadi Tuesday in their latest push to recapture the Anbar capital from the jihadists, commanders said.

The authorities announced a major offensive to "liberate Anbar" on Monday, hours after the US-led coalition launched a record number of air strikes near Ramadi.

"The Iraqi army and the Hashed al-Shaabi are pounding ISIS positions with rockets and mortar rounds east, west and south of Ramadi," a senior army officer said.

Ramadi is the capital of Anbar, a vast Sunni province which is largely under ISIS control. It is traversed by the Euphrates and stretches from the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the outskirts of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces had resisted ISIS attacks for almost a year and half when they retreated in the face of a spectacular onslaught in mid-May, in a huge blow to the government.

The government had to call in the Hashed, an umbrella organisation whose main components are Tehran-backed Shi'ite militias, to supplement its own underperforming forces.

Operations have been on ongoing across Anbar for months, and Iraqi forces have recently attempted to sever ISIS supply lines by moving in from provinces, including Salaheddin to the northeast.

Officers said advances achieved on Monday would further isolate Fallujah, which lies about half way between Ramadi and Baghdad, and allow anti-ISIS forces to better organise supplies and reinforcements.

Top commanders have admitted, however, that entering Ramadi and Fallujah, where US forces faced their toughest battles during their eight-year occupation of Iraq, would be difficult.

A senior officer in the police, which in Iraq takes part in military operations, said Iraqi units were currently advancing on Ramadi from three main axes.

The US-led coalition said it had carried out 29 air strikes against ISIS targets in the Ramadi region on Sunday, an unusually high number for a single area on a single day.

Read more on:    iraq
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.