Iraqi security forces Tuesday recaptured a large area on the southwestern side of Ramadi from ISIL terrorists, which overran the city in May, in a major breakthrough to be scored for the Iraqi army.
Iraqi armyIraq’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that its forces, backed by the volunteer fighters, managed to fully liberate the al-Tameem neighborhood.
The statement said the pro-government forces also managed to secure the northern gate to a major military camp held by Daesh in Ramadi, saying the base formerly served as the command center for the operation to liberate Anbar. It said dozens of terrorists were killed in a similar operation in the Husaybah region, eastern Anbar, while six terrorist hideouts were also destroyed.
Retaking the Al-Tameem area from ISIL 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,” Sabah al-Noman, the spokesman for Iraq’s counterterrorism service, told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
ISIL fighters “had no choice except to surrender or fight and they were completely destroyed,” Noman said.
Major General Hadi 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. “The liberation of Al-Tameem will greatly help in speeding up the liberation of the city of Ramadi,” Rasool said.
“Iraqi forces are ready and close to entering the centre of the city,” Irzayij said.
Iraqi forces were working to clear bombs planted by ISIL in Al-Tameem, which is located in the southeast of Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar.