In a major blow to Islamic State (Daesh), Iraqi officials say the country’s forces have managed to retake large parts of the key city of Ramadi from the militants.
Iraq’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that its forces, backed by the volunteer fighters, managed to fully liberate the al-Ta’mim neighborhood.
It said the Daesh militants suffered huge losses to their forces and weaponry during the operation.
Ta’mim is located in the southeast of Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar.
The area has been the scene of fierce clashes between the Iraqi forces and Daesh over the past few weeks.
The Tuesday statement said the pro-government forces also managed to secure the northern gate to a major military camp held by Daesh in Ramadi, saying the base formerly served as the command center for the operation to liberate Anbar. It said dozens of militants were killed in a similar operation in the Husaybah region, eastern Anbar, while six hideouts were also destroyed.
Daesh began its offensive in Iraq in June 2014. Pro-government forces have managed to push back the militants from some of their major bastions, including the cities of Tikrit and Baiji in Salahuddin Province, while the operation continues to retake positions in Anbar and also in the northern province of Nineveh.
Daesh has also suffered setbacks in the north of Anbar as Kurdish forces, known as Peshmerga, purged the militants from the border city of Sinjar last month. The loss of Sinjar and other areas in Anbar would deprive militants from most of their communications with Daesh-controlled areas in neighboring Syria.