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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iraq declares Ramadi 'fully liberated'

Iran Press TV

Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:15AM

The Iraqi military command has declared that the city of Ramadi has been 'fully liberated' from the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, and that government soldiers have raised the national Iraqi flag over the main government building in the strategic western city.

In a televised statement on Monday, military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool declared Ramadi as "fully liberated," saying the capital of the western province of Anbar was "grabbed from the hateful claws."

State TV also showed troops, some waving Iraqi flags and others brandishing machine guns, chanting and celebrating inside a government complex that had been taken from Daesh the day before.

However, a later statement by General Ismail al-Mahlawi, the head of military operations in Anbar, said that parts of Ramadi are still under the control of Daesh Takfiri militants, adding that his forces had only retaken a strategic government complex.

"The troops only entered the government complex," al-Mahlawi said, adding, "We can't say that Ramadi is fully liberated. There are still neighborhoods under their control and there are still resistance pockets."

Earlier on Sunday, Sabah al-Numan, a spokesman for Iraqi counter-terrorism units, said Iraqi government forces had seized control of the former government compound in central Ramadi, the last Daesh stronghold in the city.

He added that Iraqi forces are removing roadside bombs as they push forward.

Ramadi fell into the hands of Daesh in May, months after the terrorist group overran territories in northern Iraq. The Iraqi forces have managed to liberate some key towns and villages from the grips of the Takfiri group like Tikrit and Baiji in Salahuddin Province. Seizing control of Ramadi would prepare the ground for the long-anticipated offensive into Mosul, the largest city Daesh controls in the Arab country.

40 Daesh Takfiris killed

In other achievements by the Iraqi military, at least 40 members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group were killed in separate operations by the air force in Anbar as well as the northern province of Salahuddin.

On Sunday, a total of 25 Daesh terrorists were killed when Iraqi fighter jets carried out a precision strike against the extremists' position in the town of al-Qaim, situated about 500 kilometers (about 310 miles) west of the capital, Baghdad, Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network reported.

Iraqi military aircraft launched a separate air assault west of al-Siniya (Chinese) district in Salahuddin Province, leaving 15 Daesh militants dead and a number of their vehicles destroyed.

Elsewhere, in the western city of Hit, located about 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraqi jets carried out a precision strike against a Daesh-run bomb-making workshop, destroying all the explosives inside and killing several terrorists there.

An unspecified number of terrorists were also killed during Iraqi army aerial assaults on Daesh bases in Share' and Taban districts west of the city of Samarra, located 125 kilometers (78 miles) north of Baghdad.

Moreover, Iraqi warplanes struck and destroyed Deash oil storage facilities in the oil-rich Haqoul Ajil district, east of the strategic city of Tikrit, itself situated 140 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

Separately, Iraqi security forces made fresh gains against Daesh terrorists in the city of Husaybah, which lies seven kilometers (4.5 miles) east of Anbar's provincial capital city of Ramadi, on Sunday.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since Daesh began an offensive through Iraqi territory in June 2014. Army soldiers and Popular Mobilization units have joined forces and are seeking to take back militant-held regions in joint operations.

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