Iraqi forces retake large part of Ramadi from ISIS

09 December 2015

Iraqi security forces have recaptured a large area on the southwestern side of Ramadi from Islamic State, which overran the city in May, officials said.

Retaking the Al-Tameem area from ISIS is a significant breakthrough for Iraqi forces, which have been fighting for months to secure territory around Ramadi, a major city west of Baghdad and the capital of the vast Anbar province.

"Today, our forces completely cleared the Al-Tameem area after a fierce battle against Daesh gunmen," AFP quoted Sabah al-Noman, spokesman for Iraq's counter-terrorism service, as saying, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

ISIS fighters "had no choice except to surrender or fight and they were completely destroyed", Noman said.

Major General Hadi al-Irzayij, the police chief for Anbar, confirmed that Al-Tameem had been retaken as did Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for the Joint Operations Command.

Iraqi forces were working to clear bombs planted by ISIS in Al-Tameem, which is bordered by a branch of the Euphrates River that divides it from the next terroristt-held area.

ISIS overran large parts of Iraq in June 2014, including major territory in Anbar, which stretches from the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the western approach to Baghdad.

Shifting parts of Ramadi, located 100 kilometres from Baghdad, had been held by anti-government fighters since the beginning of 2014.

But ISIS did not succeeded in completely overrunning it until May of this year.

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