No US Armament Left in Ramadi After 2011 Pullout - Pentagon Spokeswoman
14:40 19.05.2015(updated 17:42 19.05.2015)
The US Armed Forces did not leave any military equipment after the 2011 withdrawal from the Iraqi city of Ramadi, which was recently captured by Islamic State militants, a US Department of Defense spokeswoman Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Sputnik on Tuesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov – On Monday, US Senator John McCain expressed grave concern over the amount of US military equipment that could fall into the hands of the Islamic extremists following the capture of Ramadi, from which Iraqi forces fled over the weekend.
"We didn't leave any of our equipment when we left [Ramadi] in December 2011," Smith said.
ISIL militants are actively using US military equipment such as small arms and Humvee vehicles, which they seized from fleeing Iraqi forces in course of their sudden 2014 advance.
US Painstaking Campaign to Result in Ultimate ISIL Defeat in Iraq – Pentagon
The US-led international campaign will eventually lead to the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq despite recent significant gains the group has gained in the country, Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Sputnik.
John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham on Monday questioned the efficiency of US President Barack Obama's strategy against the militants after the fall of Iraq's city of Ramadi to ISIL.
'[IS] will be defeated in Ramadi and elsewhere in Iraq. This campaign will be painstaking, and it will take a long time,' Smith said.
The DoD spokesperson said that the city of Ramadi has been contested for over 18 months and that the US-led international coalition airstrikes against the terrorist group will continue until the city is retaken by Iraqi military.
On May 15, ISIL launched an offensive to take control of Ramadi, located about 68 miles west of Baghdad. Over the weekend, Iraqi soldiers abandoned their positions in the city, retreating from ISIL militants. Hundreds of Iraqi security forces were killed.
On Monday, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) stated that, over the past week, the coalition carried out 25 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, including eight on Ramadi.
The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadist group that captured large areas in Iraq and Syria in 2014, proclaiming a caliphate on lands under its control.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria since August 2014.
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