Iraqi forces have made major progress in the fight to take back land from ISIS, thus sucking up recruiting areas for the terror group.
The fight is for Ramadi, on the Euphrates River, 60 miles west of Baghdad. The fight has been months in the making and has been labeled critical as the Iraqis try to take back the Anbar Province capital in the Sunni Arab heartland from ISIS.
The battle began last night as Iraqi troops, accompanied by U.S. air support, Iraqi police and Sunni tribal units made their way past the city’s outskirts.
The fight has been fierce and consisted of pure urban warfare but the U.S. Generals on the ground believe the fall of Ramadi is inevitable. A win in Ramadi would be a much needed morale boost for the Iraqi army.
From the New York Times:
BAGHDAD — An assault by Iraqi forces to wrest control of Ramadi from the Islamic State reached the edges of the city center Tuesday evening, in a battle that was months in the making and a critical test for the Iraqi government.
Accompanied by heavy American airstrikes, the push into the city by a mix of Iraqi soldiers, police officers and Sunni tribal fighters began overnight. Iraqi officials described the assault as a fierce urban battle, with their forces facing car bombs, sniper fire and explosive traps. Around 300 Islamic State fighters are believed to be hunkered down in the northern reaches of the city.
If Iraqi forces manage to reassert control over Ramadi — the provincial capital of Anbar Province, in the Sunni Arab heartland — it would be the most important of a series of military setbacks for the Islamic State since its explosive expansion across Iraq that began with the capture of Mosul last year.
When will Ramadi fall? Sound off in the comments below!