Iraqi PM visits Ramadi after driving DAESH out

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi visits freed city of Ramadi after driving out DAESH terrorists

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi walks with his security detail in the city of Ramadi, December 29, 2015.

A day after the Iraqi Army successfully recaptured Ramadi from DAESH terrorists, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi arrived in the city on Tuesday, to formally announce the expulsion of DAESH and raise the Iraqi flag.

Iraqi counterterrorism military officer General Sami al Aardi told Anadolu Agency that Abadi will review the security operations in Ramadi during his visit.

Ramadi was finally recaptured on Monday, the fall of which in May was considered a strategic failure for both the Iraqi Army and the US-led coalition battling the terrorist group.

US anti-DAESH coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren, briefed reporters on the Ramadi offensive, and confirmed that US ground forces were not used in the operation.

“The only US involvement in the fight for Ramadi has been the delivery of air power and the training of Iraqi soldiers and advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces from their headquarters,” he said.

Warren said Ramadi is not yet completely cleared and that the terrorists are still resisting in the eastern parts of the city, he also did not disclose the exact number of casualties the Iraqi Army sustained during battle.

He also declined to provide the number of civilian casualties and the condition of civilians in the city.

Ramadi is no longer under DAESH’s umbrella, the terrorists now lost half their territory in Iraq.

Abadi had vowed that 2016 would be the year of “final victory” against DAESH in Iraq, saying Mosul is the next target for the Iraqi Army after Ramadi.

Mosul is the largest city DAESH controls, and is considered the group’s main stronghold in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al Obaidi said on Tuesday that 80 percent of Ramadi was destroyed in clashes between Iraqi forces and DAESH.

Over the years, DAESH terrorism and clashes between warring parties have destroyed the country's economy and displaced millions of civilians from their hometowns.

TRTWorld and agencies