Iraqi forces have cut ISIL terrorists’ last supply line into the western city of Ramadi by seizing a key bridge, Iraqi officials and a military officer said Thursday.
The capture of Palestine Bridge, straddling the Euphrates river in northwestern Ramadi, means Iraqi forces have the city surrounded. They will now move to clear the city of the militants one neighborhood at a time.
“The bridge is now entirely under our control,” said Sabah al-Numani, spokesman for the Iraqi counter-terrorism forces, which are deployed on the western side of the bridge along with federal police.
“We are tightening our grip on them (ISIL).”
Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, fell to ISIL in May, dealing the biggest blow in nearly a year to government forces and dampening hopes of routing the militants from the country’s north and west.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi vowed a quick counter-offensive to retake the city.
“This advance is very important,” an army colonel from the 9th division said on condition of anonymity. “Daesh (ISIL) can no longer ferry weapons, food and equipment through the river like they did in the past.”