Looming Siege on Ramadi by Islamic State Forces
On Thursday, 2,000 Iraqi civilians were forced to flee advancing Islamic State militants as they close in on the capital of Anbar Province. This comes as an additional amount to the 150,000 that were forced to flee this Wednesday.
The city lies almost 28 miles from Fallujah. ISIS captured Fallujah during their ‘blitz’ in the summer of last year. They have since held on to the city for more than a year now. Ramadi is also just 70 miles from Baghdad.
The Islamists encroach from the west through their stronghold in Fallujah. Iraqi forces are holding ISIS steady though as they approach Ramadi’s western outskirts.
Ramadi’s residents have since fled and are settled in western and southern Baghdad where most of them fled to.
Just Wednesday, ISIS forces have captured three other villages, Sjariyah, Albu-Ghanim and Soufiya, though those villages are facing US airstrikes.
According to sources in Anbar, 10 Iraqi personnel have been killed and 100 have been wounded.
The looming assault on Ramadi comes as a reversal to how ISIS had suffered a defeat in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, earlier this month after Iraqi government and militia forces forced ISIS to flee the city.
Anbar’s deputy governor, Faleh al-Issawi had this to say: “We urge the Baghdad government to supply us immediately with troops and weapons in order to help us prevent the city from falling into the hands of the IS group.”