Iraq army advances into Ramadi center
Iran Press TV
Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:49AM
Iraqi forces advance into the center of the Ramadi city, which has been under the control of Daesh terrorists since May.
The push to retake the capital of Iraq's western province of Anbar was launched overnight on Tuesday, with Sabah al-Noman, spokesman of the Iraqi counter-terrorism service, saying, "The city will be cleared in the coming 72 hours," AFP reported.
"We went into the center of Ramadi from several fronts and we began purging residential areas," he added.
The country's elite counter-terrorism force is leading the operation, which is also joined by the Shia-dominated Hashid al-Shaabi volunteer group of fighters.
Local media outlets reported that the beginning of the operation featured heavy confrontation between the armed forces and the terrorists in the south of the city, which resulted in a number of casualties from both sides.
In the northern parts of the city, 14 members of security forces and volunteer fighters lost their lives in a bomb blast carried out by the Takfiri militants. At least six Daesh members were killed during clashes with Iraqi armed units.
Earlier, Iraqi security forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization units, made advances on the outskirts of Ramadi, liberating a number of neighborhoods and flushing out terrorists from the areas.
Iraqi military planes dropped leaflets in Ramadi on Sunday, urging residents to leave the city within the next three days.
Ramadi's potential recapture would be among Baghdad's most important gains against the Takfiri terrorist group, which started its terror activities in the country in June 2014.
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