ISIS militants on Sunday seized control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi after days of fighting and the country’s prime minister pleading with security forces not to abandon their posts, dealing a blow to U.S.-backed efforts.
Government forces retreated from bases, according to Agence France-Presse and Associated Press reporters, abandoning weapons, vehicles, and equipment as they fled the advance of the extremist Sunni militants on Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province.
“Ramadi has fallen,” a spokesman for the governor of Anbar province told AP. “The city was completely taken. … It was a gradual deterioration. The military is fleeing.”
The retreat came as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi used a state television address to order security forces not to abandon positions.