Iraq: Iraqi troops advance into city centre in battle to retake Ramadi from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
The Iraqi army stands on the verge of recapturing Ramadi from Isil after troops advanced into the centre of the city, according to the Baghdad government.
Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) seized Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province and a city with about 450,000 people, as long ago as May.
When Ramadi fell, its Iraqi defenders were routed when Isil sent 37 vehicle-borne suicide bombers into the city. Since then, the army has managed to counter-attack and surround Ramadi, sealing it off from Isil supply lines. In recent weeks, Iraqi forces have advanced into the outskirts of the city.
But on Tuesday, they penetrated into the centre. “We went into the centre of Ramadi from several fronts and we began purging residential areas,” said Sabah al-Noman, a spokesman of the Iraqi counter-terrorism service. “The city will be cleared in the coming 72 hours,” he said.