Iraqi PM promises recapture of Ramadi

Iraqi prime minister slams US criticism of armed forces, declares victory in Ramadi within 'days'

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi has rejected US criticism of Iraqi forces and said Ramadi will be recaptured in days.

Iraqi forces will take back Ramadi from ISIS in days if they get more support from international international coalition partners, Abadi told the BBC.

Addressing the Pentagon’s criticism of Iraqi forces, Abadi hit back against claims by US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter that the Iraqi army lacked the will to fight.

"I'm surprised why he said that. I mean, he was very supportive of Iraq. I am sure he was fed with the wrong information," Abadi said.

Carter said on Sunday the fall of Ramadi showed the Iraqi army lacked the will to fight and the seizure of the city could have been avoided.

Abadi said the Iraqi army was shocked by ISIS’ tactics, which saw Iraqi forces flee the battle.

"They have the will to fight but when they are faced with an onslaught by Daesh [ISIS] from nowhere... with armored trucks packed with explosives, the effect of them is like a small nuclear bomb - it gives a very very bad effect on our forces," he said.

"It makes my heart bleed as we lost Ramadi but we can bring it back soon," Abadi added.

Thousands of people have fled Ramadi in recent days, worsening Iraqi refugee crisis.

Iraqi Army and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) have recaptured some areas outside Ramadi in the last few days in preparation for a major offensive against ISIS.

TRTWorld and agencies