Coalition-backed Iraqi forces continue a major attack near Ramadi

When the city of Ramadi, Iraq, was captured by the Islamic State in May, it was a major blow the country.

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The city, about 110 kilometres west of Baghdad, has remained in the hands of the extremists for more than seven months. But a major attack – one involving Canadian airpower -- might soon turn that around.

In a statement, National Defence confirmed to CTV News that a "CF-18 fighter jet struck an ISIS Vehicle yesterday...in the vicinity of Ramadi, in support of Iraqi security forces offensive operations to clear Ramadi from ISIS."

Col. Steve Warren, a U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson, said coalition-backed Iraqi forces have isolated Ramadi from all angles, putting ISIS in a vulnerable state.

“They've cut off all the supply routes in and out of the city, so that this enemy isn't able to reinforce themselves with equipment, weapons, or man power,” said Warren.

There are reports that troops are being slowed by suicide car bombs, snipers and homes rigged with explosives. Though progress has been hampered by the traps, morale on the ground is still improved.

"We are high-spirited now, advancing towards Ramadi,” one Iraqi soldier said.

The U.S. military has also called the recapturing of Ramadi “inevitable.”

David Perry, a senior analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, believes this is a sign ISIS is being pushed back.

“Ramadi is right in that Sunni area from which they draw a lot of their support and a lot of their strength, so retaking that significant city right in their heartland will push them even further back on their heels.”

With a report from CTV’s Richard Madan



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