Iraq PM in Ramadi to hail city's liberation from ISIS

BAGHDAD -- A triumphant Iraqi prime minister on Tuesday toured the western city of Ramadi, just a day after government troops routed Islamic State militants from the area and recaptured a key government complex.

See Full Article

Iraqi state TV reported that Haider al-Abadi was in Ramadi but offered no further details. But an Iraqi military commander, Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Belawi told The Associated Press that the prime minister kicked off the visit by meeting security and provincial officials for the latest updates.

Across the city meanwhile, military engineering teams were clearing bombs from the streets and nearby buildings, al-Belawi said, even as sporadic clashes were underway in outlying parts of the city.

Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital, fell to IS in May, marking a major setback for Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led campaign. The Baghdad government was quick to announce a counter-offensive to retake the city but attempts repeatedly stalled.

Then in November, al-Abadi's forces announced a major push to recapture Ramadi, warning residents to leave and advancing quickly across the Euphrates River.

Their progress was subsequently slowed by heavy IS resistance, booby-trapped buildings and sniper fire. The militants blew up all bridges leading into the city centre.

On Monday, Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, drove IS militants out of the city centre and raised the Iraqi flag over the government complex.

As significant -- and symbolic -- as the action was, Iraqi military officials said Islamic State fighters were still holed up in various pockets of the city.

Ramadi, located about 130 kilometres (80 miles) west of Baghdad, and nearby Fallujah, which lies half-way on the road to Baghdad and remains under IS control, saw some of the heaviest fighting of the eight-year U.S. intervention in Iraq.

Monday's recapture of the government complex is certainly likely to lift the morale of Iraqi forces, who were badly shaken by the city's fall in May, which came despite months of U.S.-led airstrikes and advances against IS elsewhere in the country.

The IS still controls much of northern and western Iraq, as well as vast swaths of neighbouring Syria. It has declared a caliphate in the areas under its control and imposed a harsh and violent interpretation of Islamic law.

Iraqi state TV was replaying Monday's footage from Ramadi, showing troops, some waving Iraqi flags and others brandishing machine-guns, chanting and dancing inside what it described as the government complex in central Ramadi. Soldiers could be seen slaughtering sheep in celebration near heavily damaged buildings.

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the U.S. Central Command, congratulated Iraqi forces on the "important operational achievement."

Authorities have not provided casualty figures from the fighting or Ramadi.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • France heads to the polls after unpredictable presidential campaign

    World News CBC News
    France goes to the polls on Sunday for the first round of a bitterly fought presidential election, crucial to the future of Europe and a closely-watched test of voters' anger with the political establishment. Nearly 47 million voters will decide, under tight security, whether to back a pro-EU centrist newcomer, a scandal-ridden veteran conservative who wants to slash public spending, a far-left eurosceptic admirer of Fidel Castro or appoint France's first woman president, to shut borders and…
  • Conservative candidates need to step up to the front

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    News flash! There is a leadership race underway within the Conservative Party of Canada. What? Really? How long has this been going on? Forever it seems, not that many have noticed amid the drama of the ruling Liberals’ marijuana legislation, its pandering Islamophobia motion, its leader’s questionable Aga Khan vacation destination, its outright lie about changing the federal voting system before the next election, and the tabling of an omnibus bill that they supposedly would never do. Source
  • Supply ship named for John Glenn arrives at space station

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A supply ship bearing John Glenn’s name arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday. Astronauts used the station’s big robot arm to grab the capsule, as the craft flew 400 kilometres above Germany. Source
  • Bank of Canada governor 'happy' to see plan for GTA housing market

    Canada News CBC News
    Measures to cool the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area have received a warm response from Canada's central banker, who said Saturday it should have some effect on runaway housing prices. "I'm happy there are measures," Stephen Poloz, the governor of the Bank of Canada, told reporters during financial meetings in Washington. Source
  • 'There's nothing we can do': Rigaud, Que. residents waiting out flood

    Canada News CTV News
    Firefighters and police officers made the rounds Saturday checking on people in Rigaud, Que. who decided to stay in their homes despite the recent flood. The small town, located west of Montreal near the Ontario border, declared a state of emergency Thursday after a combination of heavy rainfall and spring thaw flooded the region. Source
  • 'There's nothing we can do': Rigaud, Que. residents wait out flood

    Canada News CTV News
    Firefighters and police officers made the rounds Saturday checking on people in Rigaud, Que. who decided to stay in their homes despite the recent flood. The small town, located west of Montreal near the Ontario border, declared a state of emergency Thursday after a combination of heavy rainfall and spring thaw flooded the region. Source
  • Calgarian who joined ISIS added to U.S. most-wanted terrorist list

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Once thought killed while fighting alongside ISIS forces in Iraq, a Calgarian is now one of the United States' most-wanted terrorists. In a decision by the U.S. State Department, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, 24, of Calgary, has been dubbed a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Source
  • Edmonton police seek 2 'people of interest' in dead toddler case

    Canada News CBC News
    Edmonton police are asking for more help from the public in identifying two people of interest regarding a dead toddler who was found Friday in the north end of the city. Police released a photo Saturday afternoon of a man and a woman. Source
  • 2 arrested in Edmonton dead toddler case

    Canada News CBC News
    Edmonton police are asking for more help from the public in identifying two people of interest regarding a dead toddler who was found Friday in the north end of the city. Police released a photo Saturday afternoon of a man and a woman. Source
  • Vibrator thief told sex shop clerk she had HIV before lunging at him with needle

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A woman found guilty of two thefts and threatening with a needle will have her day of reckoning at the Sudbury Courthouse on May 2, whether she is physically in court or not. “There will be an order I'm not opposed to,” Shawana's lawyer, Denis Michel, told Ontario Court Justice Karen Lische Wednesday concerning his client Naomi Shawana, who has refused to attend court on numerous occasions in recent months for her sentencing involving two armed robberies in January, 2016. Source