Iraqi Forces Seize Neighborhood on Outskirts of Ramadi
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi troops battling Daesh captured a neighborhood on the outskirts of militant-held Ramadi and a provincial operations center to the north of the city, officials said.
It was the first significant incursion into Ramadi since Iraq announced a major offensive last month aimed at taking back the provincial capital. Iraqi troops backed by volunteer forces recently seized the Palestine Bridge, a main gateway, completing their encirclement of the city.
Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for an Iraqi counterterrorism unit fighting in Ramadi, said late on Tuesday that while much of the former operations center had been destroyed by Daesh fighters, the Iraqi flag had been raised above one of the remaining buildings. He said Iraqi troops also liberated the southwestern Tamim neighborhood.
“This area is considered an important region for Daesh,” Numani said, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
He cautioned that there is still a long battle ahead, and that Warar River, a tributary of the Euphrates, separates the troops in Tamim from the center of Ramadi.
“We cannot give a specific time we will liberate the city,” he said, adding that Daesh had “destroyed many of the bridges” over the river.
Col. Steven Warren, the spokesman for the US-led coalition in Baghdad, said Iraqi forces had reported to the coalition that they had cleared the Tamim neighborhood.
“Tamim overlooks downtown Ramadi and provides an important tactical advantage,” Warren said.
Daesh captured Ramadi in May, dealing the biggest blow to Iraqi forces since the fall of the city of Mosul in the summer of 2014.