Iraqi Forces Claim Huge Victory Against ISIS

Military says it's now in control of Ramadi
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2015 12:57 AM CST
Updated Dec 28, 2015 6:43 AM CST
Iraqi Forces Claim Huge Victory Against ISIS
Iraqi Security Forces enter heavily damaged downtown Ramadi on Sunday.   (AP Photo)

Iraqi forces have reclaimed the central government compound in the city of Ramadi from ISIS, marking what a US commander says is the greatest achievement yet from a force that fled the city in May. The military says it's now in complete control of the compound, which marks the defeat of ISIS in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, though there are still pockets of resistance, reports the BBC. "Yes, the city of Ramadi has been liberated," says a military spokesman, per Reuters. The Iraqi flag is now flying over the compound, he adds. Fierce fighting had taken place around the city for days, though suicide bombers, snipers, and booby traps had slowed the Iraqi military's advance, reports AP.

Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for the US anti-ISIS effort, tells USA Today that it has been a great day for the Iraqi military. "What this shows is that the Iraqis have moved from an army that folded on initial contact in the summer of '14 to an army that has been able to conduct a complex operation in a large, built-up area," he says. "This is the biggest thing the Iraqi army has done. Period." He says ISIS is now "getting hit in multiple places simultaneously," having also lost control of the Tishrin Dam in Syria to US-backed fighters over the weekend, who cut off a key supply line to the group's Raqqa stronghold when they seized the Euphrates River dam. (ISIS is believed to be harvesting organs from live prisoners for profit.)

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