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

  • Powerless Puerto Rico's storm crisis deepens with dam threat

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rican officials could not communicate with more than half the towns in the U.S. territory as they rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people downstream of a failing dam and the massive scale of the disaster wrought by Hurricane Maria started to become clear. Source
  • Merkel wants campaign to reach undecided voters in last push

    World News CTV News
    German chancellor Angela Merkel, front left, is accompanied by Stralsund mayor Alexander Badrow, third right, as she takes a stroll through the old town of Stralsund, at the Baltic Sea, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 one day ahead of Germany's general elections on Sunday. Source
  • Invictus Games to open Saturday night in Toronto

    Canada News CBC News
    The Invictus Games opening ceremony is set for tonight in Toronto. Prince Harry — the Games founder — along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne will be among those attending the ceremonies at the Air Canada Centre. Source
  • Nova Scotia coast's secret Caribbean vistas

    Canada News CBC News
    A conservation photographer is sharing his images of a remote part of Nova Scotia's coastline that most people have never seen. In its biggest fundraising endeavour to date, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust has raised more than $7 million to help protect 100 Wild Islands off the province's Eastern Shore. Source
  • Canada looks to China trade deal while knowing 'there are issues there,' ambassador says

    World News CBC News
    Canada's ambassador to China says the Liberal government is still making its list of pros and cons about launching formal talks around a free trade deal with the global superpower, including the potential public fallout. "It's in our genes, if you will, to do free trade agreements, but there are concerns. Source
  • Canada could win the Amazon sweepstakes due to Trump scaring 'the bejesus out of everyone'

    Canada News CBC News
    Handicapping the Amazon sweepstakes has become something of a cottage industry in the last few weeks. Predictions of which city will land the company's coveted second headquarters cite everything from the bright lights of big cities like New York and Boston to Denver's crisp Rocky Mountain air to Chicago's spot as a hurricane-free haven. Source
  • After years of scandal, Senate seeks a way forward on expenses

    Canada News CBC News
    Many senators who lived through the auditor general's recent review of expenses say the process cost too much and took too long — but the next step could be trying, too, as senators argue over the best way to keep an eye on expenses without racking up huge costs. Source
  • 'I didn't realize I could have such a big impact': Katimavik focuses on reconciliation

    Canada News CBC News
    After his best friend died in a snowmobile accident in February, Ruben Dick started on a path of self-destruction, fuelled by depression and substance abuse. Concerned family members encouraged Dick, 23, to apply to the Katimavik Indigenous Youth in Transition program. Source
  • Merkel pitches German voters steady course while far right makes waves

    World News CBC News
    Inside, a choir of elderly men in sailor caps sings a rousing, German-accented version of Yellow Submarine while a crowd of mainly 40-somethings taps along seated in rows of chairs in a big meeting hall in the town of Wismar along the Baltic coast. Source
  • A war over words is central to the Rohingya crisis: Nahlah Ayed

    World News CBC News
    When Aung San Suu Kyi asked a former UN secretary general last year to lead a national study into the troubles in her country's poorest and most restive state, she asked that the word Rohingya be avoided. Source