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



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Car plows into parade crowd in New Orleans; 28 hurt

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW ORLEANS — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated. The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Source
  • Trump not elected to spend time with reporters, celebs: Aide

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The White House says that when President Donald Trump skips the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, expect him to spend that Saturday night in April "focused on what he can to do to help better America. Source
  • 'I am proud to be here': 7 more asylum seekers walk into Manitoba, where it's –20 C

    Canada News CBC News
    Seven more asylum seekers risked dangerously cold temperatures as they walked across the Canada-U.S. border into Emerson, Man., early Sunday. CBC News spotted six men and a woman about 4:30 a.m. as temperatures dipped to –20 C. Source
  • Canadian school boards question trips to U.S. as travel ban debate continues

    Canada News CBC News
    Schools across Canada are grappling with the uncertainty of U.S. travel restrictions and how that affects upcoming student trips across the border. A travel ban instituted by President Donald Trump on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and Syrian refugees may be on hold as it works its way through the U.S. Source
  • Actor Bill Paxton dead at 61

    World News CBC News
    Actor Bill Paxton, who appeared in Twister, Aliens and Titanic, has died, according to multiple reports. A number of U.S. media outlets are reporting that the 61-year-old died due to complications from surgery. At the time of his death, Paxton was part of the cast of the CBS television series Training Day. Source
  • Bill Paxton dies at 61 due to complications from surgery

    World News CBC News
    Actor Bill Paxton, who appeared in Twister, Aliens and Titanic, has died, according to multiple reports. A number of U.S. media outlets are reporting that the 61-year-old died due to complications from surgery. At the time of his death, Paxton was part of the cast of the CBS television series Training Day. Source
  • Syrian warplanes pound rebel-held area in central city

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Government warplanes pounded a rebel-held neighbourhood in the central city of Homs on Sunday, killing at least three and wounding dozens, Syrian opposition activists said, and President Bashar Assad's forces pushed ahead in Syria's offensive on the historic central town of Palmyra that is held by the Islamic State group. Source
  • Swedes puzzled over Swedish 'security adviser' on Fox News

    World News CBC News
    A transatlantic wave of puzzlement is rippling across Sweden for the second time in a week, after a prominent Fox News program featured a "Swedish defence and national security adviser" who's unknown to the country's military and foreign-affairs officials. Source
  • Canadian school boards question trips to U.S. amid travel ban debate

    Canada News CTV News
    Schools across Canada are grappling with the uncertainty of U.S. travel restrictions and how that affects upcoming student trips across the border. A travel ban instituted by President Donald Trump on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and Syrian refugees may be on hold as it works its way through the U.S. Source
  • Black History Month: How a Yukon miner's parents fled the KKK

    Canada News CBC News
    In 1920s America, the Ku Klux Klan was enjoying a resurgence in popularity, due in no small part to D.W. Griffith's 1915 movie The Clansman, later renamed Birth of a Nation. It depicted black men as brutish and violent, and found ready acceptance from the public, even being screened in the White House by an enthusiastic president Woodrow Wilson. Source