Retaking Ramadi from ISIS 'strategically and symbolically' important

The Iraqi army reports progress in recapturing some areas in the western city of Ramadi from ISIS, a victory that one Canadian expert says is both strategically and symbolically important.

See Full Article

Gen. Ismail al-Mahlawi, head of the Iraqi army’s Anbar military operations, said Sunday that his troops were about one kilometre from Ramadi’s main government complex.

He said they have been slowed down by suicide bombs, snipers and booby traps, but they should reach the complex within days.

David Perry, a Senior Analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, told CTV News Channel that controlling Ramadi is “strategically and symbolically important.”

The fact that Iraqis managed to “retake territory that had been taken out of their hands” makes the retaking of Ramadi “symbolically important,” according to Perry.

ISIS fighters were vastly outnumbered by Iraqi soldiers when they pushed into the city in May, leading U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter to declare Iraq’s forces lacked “the will to fight.”

The apparent victory is also “strategically significant,” according to Perry, because Ramadi was one of the largest cities ISIS controlled, and is located along one of the two main ISIS trade routes.

Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, could be the next target for Iraqi forces, with coalition support.

Perry said that retaking Mosul would help choke ISIS of funds, because the city’s roughly 1.7 million people are a large source of tax revenue for ISIS, and the city is also “surrounded by some fairly significant oil fields.”

Oil is believed to be the largest source of revenue for ISIS. Iraqi intelligence and U.S. officials told The Associated Press last month that stolen oil earns the terrorist group an estimated $50 million (U.S.D.) each month.

Canadian jets provide support

Canadian CF-18 Hornets bombed ISIS fighting positions near Ramadi six times in November and at least twice in December, most recently on Dec. 23.

There have been 15 Canadian airstrikes across Iraq so far in December, making it the busiest month for Canada’s CF-18s since July, and one of the busiest since Canada’s jets joined the international coalition in November 2014.

Nevertheless, the Trudeau government has vowed to pull the jets in 2016 while ramping up the number of Canadian military trainers on the ground.

A Nanos Research poll conducted in late November found that 59 per cent of Canadians supported or somewhat supported the deployment of Canadian fighter jets in the war against ISIS. That was down from 65 per cent in October 2014, when the same question was asked.

With a report from CTV National News Correspondent Omar Sachedina and files from The Associated Press


Latest Canada & World News

  • 'A revolving door': Neighbours angry about Burnaby B.C. home operating as 9-bedroom hotel

    Canada News CTV News
    A multi-million dollar Burnaby, B.C. home that was advertising nine rooms on short-term rental sites like Airbnb and has neighbours calling on municipal authorities to shut down the de-facto hotel. The house was bought for $2.65 million last September. Source
  • Anti-pipeline protests continue in Burnaby, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. -- Anti-pipeline protesters are continuing to demonstrate near Kinder Morgan's terminal in Burnaby, B.C., today. Dozens of people followed Indigenous leaders in a march toward a gate to the Burnaby Terminal, with organizers saying more than 70 of them were prepared to be arrested. Source
  • Gun control rallies being held in over a dozen Canadian cities in support of March for Our Lives

    Canada News CBC News
    More than a dozen Canadian cities are hosting marches to call for stricter gun control laws in both Canada and the United States in the wake of a deadly high school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla. Source
  • Man dog-sledding from Churchill to New Brunswick reaches halfway point

    Canada News CBC News
    A musher and his 12 Alaskan huskies have reached the halfway point of their 3,000-kilometre dog sled trek from Manitoba to his home province of New Brunswick. Justin Allen left Churchill, Man., on January 22 and arrived in Moosonee, Ont. Source
  • Driver fired after Ottawa school vehicle struck by gate arm at train crossing

    Canada News CTV News
    An Ottawa father is demanding answers after a vehicle transporting his eight-year-old son to school was struck by a railway crossing’s gate arms while a VIA Rail Canada train roared past. Jim Stackhouse said three-and-a-half hours passed before he was informed of the incident on Thursday. Source
  • Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - More than a dozen Canadian cities are hosting marches to call for stricter gun control laws in both Canada and the United States in the wake of a deadly high school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla. Source
  • Gun control rally begins where the movement was sparked

    World News CTV News
    PARKLAND, Fla. -- Thousands of people filled a park near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at a "March for Our Lives" rally near the site of last month's school massacre in Parkland, Florida. Saturday's rally in South Florida had the feel of a campaign event. Source
  • Kaetlyn Osmond's Marystown homecoming in April now a world champion's welcome

    Canada News CBC News
    Kaetlyn Osmond stunned the skating world Friday evening in Milan when she unexpectedly became the first Canadian woman in 45 years to win the world figure skating championships — just weeks before the small Newfoundland town where she grew up hosts her for a skating event. Source
  • 'Share your spare': N.B. man advertising on car to find kidney donors

    Canada News CTV News
    A New Brunswick man is hitting the road in the hopes of finding a kidney donor. Dan McLaughlin and his wife Patricia stuck decals to the back windows of their cars on Thursday, asking people to “share your spare. Source
  • Hundreds gather in Toronto in support of U.S. gun control rally

    Canada News CBC News
    About 200 people have gathered in Toronto on Saturday for the March of Our Lives rally to show solidarity with the U.S. gun control movement. The Toronto rally got underway at 10 a.m. at Nathan Phillips Square, where demonstrators began a march to Queen's Park. Source