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IS 'slow Iraqi troops' advance on Ramadi'

Published 27/12/2015

Iraqi forces entered the centre of Ramadi as part of a major offensive aimed at dislodging the Islamic State terrorist militia from the city (AP)
Iraqi forces entered the centre of Ramadi as part of a major offensive aimed at dislodging the Islamic State terrorist militia from the city (AP)

Islamic State fighters are slowing down the advance of Iraqi forces in the militant-held city of Ramadi, a senior commander has said.

Iraq launched a long-awaited operation to recapture the Anbar provincial capital but after an initial push across the Euphrates River, their progress stalled.

General Ismail al-Mahlawi said on Sunday that the advance is hampered by suicide bombers, snipers and booby traps. He said Iraqi troops "need days" to get to the city's central government complex.

The head of the Anbar military operations added that Iraqi troops are now about half a mile from the complex.

On Tuesday, Iraqi security forces reported progress in recapturing some areas in the western city of Ramadi, 80 miles west of Baghdad, from IS militants.

The extremists control large swaths of land in western and northern Iraq and in neighbouring Syria. The IS group has declared a self-styled caliphate on the territory under its control.

After overrunning Ramadi, IS destroyed all the bridges around the city. It also demolished the Anbar operations command centre and fanned out into the city's residential areas to set up less conspicuous centres of command.

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