For the first time in the conflict, Iraq has deployed 3,000 troops trained by US-coalition forces in a campaign to seize the city of Ramadi form Daesh, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told AP that 500 Sunni tribesmen who trained with US troops in Iraq were also involved in the Ramadi operation.
Iraqi forces are currently in the process of encircling the Anbar capital in an attempt to put pressure on and entrap Daesh militants inside the city.
Extremists seized the city of Ramadi two months ago in what has been decried as an embarrassing defeat for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the US-backed military entrusted with its defense, AP reported.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who has previously criticized Iraqi forces for lacking a “will to fight,” stressed that US coalition airpower in Ramadi needed to be complemented by “capable ground forces.”
The United States estimates there are about 1,000 to 2,000 Daesh fighters in Ramadi, AP reported.