Iraqi Army halfway through in Ramadi battle

Halfway the road to recapture Ramadi from ISIS is crossed by the US-backed Iraqi forces and Shiite militias

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Iraqi security forces ride military vehicles on the outskirts of Ramadi August 6, 2015

Iraqi forces have made significant progress in its military operations against ISIS in Ramadi and cut more than half the way to contain the militants insurgency in the recently captured city, according to Lt. Col. Pat Ryder, spokesman for the Central Command of the US Army.

Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, fell in ISIS' grasp last May, the US president Barack Obama described the loss of Ramadi as a “tactical setback”.

The Iraqi Army is aided by the Iranian backed popular mobilization forces in their battle against ISIS in Anbar, the “Isolation” of ISIS militants is planned to happen shortly, in order to launch a final attack to recover the lost areas.

“The Iraqi forces are making progress for the fourth week in an effort to isolate the militants of the ISIS who took control of Ramadi three months ago" said Ryder.

Ryder added that "The objective here is to cut off ISIS' lines of communications to prevent or limit their resupply and reinforcement."

American spokesman pointed out that the Iraqi forces carried out "tough, dangerous work" to encircle the city and prevent the arrival of more militants or supplies.

ISIS militants were trying to stop the progress of the Iraqi Army by planting hidden bombs in vehicles, Ryder said, and the Iraqi Army in return used armoured bulldozers to remove the improvised explosives.

Ryder explained that the goal of the military operation is "to completely encircle Ramadi before the operation's next phase: retaking the city." Ryder reiterated that the Iraqi Army has a “good plan” and "execute that plan at the ttimeline they have set for themselves" while approaching the Ramadi crisis.

The US military announced that the international coalition led by the United States launched an airstrike against ISIS militants in Iraq on Thursday.

It said that the strikes were concentrated on targets near Ramadi, to help the Iraqi Army in the siege of the city.

Taking advantage of security vacuum, ISIS took control of large swaths of Iraqi land including big parts of Anbar province in 2014.

TRTWorld and agencies