Iraq's Ramadi 'falls' to ISIL Takfiris
Iran Press TV
Sun May 17, 2015 7:9PM
ISIL Takfiri terrorists have managed to bring under their full control the central Iraqi city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of al-Anbar.
According to a Sunday announcement by Muhannad Haimour, the governor's spokesman in Anbar, Ramadi has "fallen" to ISIL terrorists.
ISIL confirmed the complete seizure of the city in an online message, claiming the terrorists have taken over the 8th Brigade army base as well as tanks and missile launchers in Ramadi.
AFP reported that the Iraqi forces left the city on trucks, Humvees, and other equipment following the ISIL attacks.
Most of the Iraqi troops retreated to a military base in the city of Khalidiya, east of Ramadi, the state-funded BBC quoted an unnamed Iraqi army official as saying.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the Iraqi army to 'hold their positions' in the strategic city in a bid to obstruct ISIL's advances.
The Iraqi forces 'must hold their positions and preserve them and not allow Daesh (ISIL) to extend to other areas in Ramadi,' Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for the premier, said.
'There is continuous air cover that will help ground troops there hold their positions while waiting for support from other forces and the Popular Mobilization Units,' he added, referring to the volunteer groups who have joined the Iraqi army to fight the Takfiris.
Reports also said that at least 500 people lost their lives in two days of fighting over the strategic city.
The ISIL had executed dozens of people on Friday in the Albu Alwan, al-Thaela'a al-Sharqiya, al-Jamiyeh, and al-Sherka districts of Ramadi, according to reports.
Women and children together with security personnel were reportedly among those executed by the terrorists.
The ISIL militants also fired a number of mortar shells at residential areas in Ramadi, leaving tens of people killed and injured.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been in chaos since ISIL started its campaign of terror in early June 2014.
Since then, Iraq's army has been joined by Kurdish forces, as well as Shia and Sunni volunteers in operations to drive the ISIL terrorists out of the areas they have seized.
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