Sunni fighters deployed in reconquered Ramadi

(File, AP)
(File, AP)

Baghdad - Hundreds of fighters from local Sunni tribes were on Tuesday deployed in some areas of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, newly reconquered from the Islamic State group, security officials said.

"Five hundred members of the tribes from the Hashed arrived in northern Ramadi to participate in operations there and hold the liberated areas," said Major General Ismail Mahalawi, who heads Anbar operations command.

The Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) is an umbrella group of mostly Tehran-backed Shi'ite militias that have played a key role in retaking land from ISIS.

However, Sunni fighters from Anbar tribes opposed to the jihadists also officially belong to the group, which is nominally under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's command.

Iraqi forces

"Five units of tribal forces have arrived and hold the areas of Jaraishi, Zawiyah and Albu Faraj north of Ramadi," said their leader, Tareq Yusef al-Asal.

They had been trained on Habbaniyah base and armed by the defence ministry, he added.

The premier visited the Anbar capital on Tuesday, a day after the elite counter-terrorism service raised the Iraqi flag above the city's large government complex.

The provincial headquarters had been the epicentre of the fighting since Iraqi forces punched through ISIS defences a week ago to cap an operation to retake Ramadi.

Abadi congratulated the security forces, who were still sweeping streets and buildings for roadside bombs, booby traps and holed up jihadists.


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