Iraqi Forces Take Ramadi
by Stephen Lendman
The battle to retake Ramadi (about 63 miles west of Baghdad) from ISIS raged for over a year, including after it seized the city last May, part of an Iraqi army offensive to recapture all Anbar Province areas.
Its forces finally seized the government complex in the city’s center, ISIS’ last stronghold in the area. According to Iraqi counterterrorism spokesman Sabah al- Numani, “(b)y controlling the complex, this means that (ISIS) has been defeated in Ramadi.”
Iraqi forces have full control. “(N)o presence whatsoever of (ISIS) fighters” remains - though undetected pockets could be hiding in the city.
The area was heavily booby-trapped. A major clearing effort is needed before free movement is possible.
“The forces of anti-terrorist units are working day and night on the disposal of improvised explosive devices and car bombs left by ISIL militants in central Ramadi, who have escaped in the direction of Al-Khaldiya,” Lieutenant-General Abdul-Ghani Asadi explained.
Months of fighting left the area devastated. Lack of US support prolonged conflict. On the pretense of combating ISIS, US-led coalition warplanes target infrastructure and government targets exclusively.
A week before Christmas, US warplanes bombed Iraqi forces in Fallujah, east of Ramadi - killing 30 soldiers and injuring around 20 others battling ISIS. Arms, munitions and military vehicles were destroyed.
US warplanes serve as ISIS’ air force in Iraq and Syria, pretending otherwise. Iraqi Parliament Security and Defense Committee head Hakim al-Zamili called the Fallujah incident “very serious.”
“We will go to court over this crime. There will be a hearing.” US regional policy supports terrorism on the pretext of combating it. Americans are willfully deceived to believe otherwise, supported by scoundrel media misinformation.
Anbar province regional council member Falih al-Essawi urged Baghdad to begin rebuilding immediately so displaced families can return safely, an enormous task requiring considerable resources and time.
For now, police and local Sunni tribal leaders will control things. According to Iraqi military spokesman Brig. General Yahya Rasul, “(w)e have trained hundreds of tribal fighters. Their role will be holding the ground” retaken.
Area residents will be relieved to see their own tribes responsible for security, free from ISIS control - threatened by America’s rage for regional dominance.
Endless conflicts continue with no letup. The human toll keeps mounting
A Final Comment
Baghdad’s main goal remains liberating Mosul and surrounding areas, freeing them from ISIS and illegal presence of Turkish troops.
According to General Rasul, Baghdad wants no foreign troops involved. “The government has announced that it does not want participation of any troops, except the Iraqi ones, in the liberation of Mosul,” he said.
“Participation of the Turkish or any other troops is not the issue, especially taking into consideration, the multitude of the Iraqi troops, including the military, tribes and popular militia.”
Thousands of US special forces operate in Iraq on the pretext of training and aiding its military - along with Pentagon and coalition partners’ warplanes bombing Iraqi sites, not terrorist ones.
How Baghdad intends dealing with these issues remains to be seen. Liberation depends on allying with Russia, not imperial America and rogue partners.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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