US to send weapons to Iraq as ISIS advances in Ramadi

The United States speeds military aid progress to Iraqi army after the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) captures the city of Ramadi

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US has speeded weapon shipment to the Iraqi army after ISIS captured the city of Ramadi on Friday, the capital of the key Anbar province, CNN reported.

The White House said in a statement that the weapons include AT-4 shoulder-held rockets to counter vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, as well as ammunition and other supplies.

"The vice president assured the prime minister of continued and expedited US security assistance to confront ISIS," the statement said. 

"Both leaders agreed on the importance and urgency of mobilizing tribal fighters working in coordination with Iraqi security forces to counter ISIS and to ensure unity of effort among all of Iraq's communities,” the statement added.

After two weeks of clashes, fighters from ISIS have captured the municipality headquarters, including police headquarters and the Ramadi Great Mosque and now pushing for the provincial government building in the city of Ramadi, the capital of the governorate of Anbar. 

Reports have emerged that ISIS fighters gained control of the compound at around 2:00 pm local time, earlier on Friday, as photos depicted an ISIS flag hoisted above the complex. 

"ISIS now occupies the government center in Ramadi and has also raised its flag over the police HQ for Anbar. The ISIS has also formally claimed hoisting its flag atop the state buildings.” a senior police officer told the AFP news agency.

ISIS released its own statement confirming the developments on social media sites, reporting that its fighters had "broke into the Safavid to government complex in the center of Ramadi."

The news of the city’s fall comes after ISIS militants used an armored bulldozer to demolish a wall set up as a roadblock to the local police station before detonating the vehicle at the station killing at least 11 police officers. Two other car bombings targeted the city. 

"The situation in Ramadi is dire, but the city has not fallen and the battle against criminal Daesh is still ongoing," said Anbar governor Sohaib al-Rawi through his official Twitter page.

An official from the Iraqi army told Newsweek that all forces in the city garrisoned themselves in the city yet reinforcements could not come due to ISIS’s control of the roads that lead to the city.

TRTWorld and agencies