Is­lamic State tight­ens grip on Iraqi city of Ra­madi

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Is­lamic State (IS) mil­i­tants have tight­ened their grip on the cen­tre of the Iraqi city of Ra­madi af­ter re­pelling an ad­vance by gov­ern­ment forces. Re­ports say the mil­i­tants now con­trol at least 60% of the city. How­ever, air strikes have forced them to pull back from a key gov­ern­ment com­pound where they raised their black flags on Fri­day. Ra­madi is cap­i­tal of the coun­try>s largest prov­ince, An­bar. IS and Iraqi troops have been bat­tling for months to take con­trol of strate­gi­cally im­por­tant An­bar prov­ince. Ear­lier, the Iraqi army said it had sent three reg­i­ments to ar­eas sur­round­ing the city. Iraqi mil­i­tary spokesman Brig Gen Saad Maan Ibrahim also told Iraqi state tele­vi­sion that the US-led coali­tion had been sup­port­ing Iraqi troops with «painful» air strikes since late on Fri­day. High-pro­file Iraqi of­fi­cials have made sev­eral state­ments to the press and on so­cial me­dia, ad­mit­ting that the sit­u­a­tion is dire, our cor­re­spon­dent says. It is a sign of how wor­ried the gov­ern­ment is, and of how se­ri­ous the sit­u­a­tion on the ground has be­come. The IS as­sault on the gov­ern­ment com­pound on Fri­day in­volved as many as six sui­cide car bombs. At least 10 po­lice of­fi­cers were killed, while an­other 50 were re­ported to have been taken prisoner. In re­sponse, US Vice-Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den pledged to de­liver heavy weaponry, in­clud­ing shoul­der-held rocket launch­ers and ad­di­tional ammunition, as well as sup­plies to the Iraqi forces. Iraq>s prime min­is­ter pledged in April that his forces would «lib­er­ate» An­bar from IS af­ter the suc­cess of re-tak­ing the cen­tral city of Tikrit.

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