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

  • Music programs helping refugee children adapt to life in Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- At 11 years old, Majid has a voice that more than does justice to her slight 4-foot frame. Standing in the hallway of the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ont., Majid is practising one of several songs she has learned as a member of Nai Syrian Children's Choir. Source
  • U.S. Coast Guard suspends search for mariner attempting to set sailing record

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record after a crew did not find him aboard his boat off the Hawaii islands. In a statement Wednesday night, the Coast Guard said a crew from the USS Makin Island went aboard Guo Chuan's trimaran about 620 miles northwest of Oahu and only found Guo's life jacket. Source
  • 1 dead, 12 hurt in fire at building on NYC's Upper East side

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Fire officials say an overnight blaze that tore through a five-storey apartment building in Manhattan has left one person dead and 12 civilians and firefighters injured. The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. Source
  • Jury hearing Jacques Corriveau's fraud case receives final instructions Thursday

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The jury hearing the case of ex-federal Liberal organizer Jacques Corriveau is to receive final instructions from the judge today. Corriveau is charged with fraud against the government, forgery and laundering proceeds of crime. Source
  • Forecast predicts 'eerily calm' weather for Halloween night

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Trick-or-treaters across the country are in for some "eerily calm" weather this Halloween. The Weather Network has released its forecast for Oct. 31 and says those who plan to venture out in their costumes on Monday can expect seasonally cool but relatively stable weather. Source
  • UN preparing for possible chemical attack in Mosul

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- The UN's public health agency said Thursday it has trained 90 Iraqi medics in "mass casualty management," with a special focus on chemical attacks, as part of its preparations for Iraq's operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group. Source
  • Belgium reaches deal to back EU-Canada trade agreement

    Canada News CBC News
    A landmark free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada could be signed within days after the Belgian government overcame an impasse with its regional authorities on Thursday.Why trade deals like CETA have become a 'whipping boy' for anti-globalization forcesANALYSIS | Wallonia's veto in trade deal about everything but Canada: Don Pittis?Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said his national government had reached a deal with the holdout region of Wallonia. Source
  • Bulldozers start demolishing Calais migrant camp

    World News CTV News
    CALAIS, France -- Bulldozers have started demolishing the makeshift migrant camp in the French port city of Calais, one day after authorities declared it empty. Work intensified on Thursday to remove the tents and shelters, shops and restaurants at the site, until recently a sprawling temporary home to thousands of people trying to go to Britain. Source
  • UNICEF calls airstrike on school a potential war crime

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT - The UN Children's agency called the airstrikes in Syria's rebel-held northern Idlib province a day earlier an "outrage", suggesting it may be the deadliest attack on a school since the country's war began nearly six years ago. Source
  • British economy didn't take a hit in 1st quarter since Brexit vote

    World News CBC News
    Britain's economy grew more than expected in the third quarter despite uncertainty in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union. The Office of National Statistics said Thursday that Britain's economy grew by a quarterly rate of 0.5 per cent in the July-September period. Source