Reuters reports: Iraq’s army chief was quoted on Wednesday as saying he needed only days to drive Islamic State from Ramadi, the city whose fall in May exposed the weakness of the Baghdad government and dampened hopes of restoring control in the north and west.
Iraqi troops began advancing on Tuesday in an offensive complicated by rivalries and suspicions harbored by local Sunni tribes and by Shi’ite militia backed by Iran. U.S. officials, concerned also by militant operations over the border in Syria, have expressed frustration at delays in seizing back the city.
“In the coming days will be announced the good news of the complete liberation of Ramadi,” Iraqia TV cited army chief of staff Lt. General Othman al-Ghanemi as saying.
Government troops are now concentrating on the last district held by the militants in the center of Ramadi, a Sunni Muslim city on the river Euphrates some 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad and capital of Anbar province. [Continue reading…]
Residents of Ramadi welcoming Iraqi troops: