Washington - The US military says airstrikes over the past week have killed about 350 Islamic State fighters in the Iraqi city of Ramadi - and that may have reduced by half the number of fighters defending the city.
ISIS took Ramadi seven months ago.
Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesperson for the US military in Baghdad, told reporters at the Pentagon that despite these losses, ISIS defenders still held much of central Ramadi.
Warren said Iraqi government forces were advancing slowly because they faced booby traps and mines.
Separately, Defence Secretary Ash Carter said Iraqi progress in retaking Ramadi had been "disappointingly slow".
He declined to predict how long the fight would last, but said he had no doubt Ramadi would fall.