Baghdad, Feb 10 (IANS) The Iraqi security forces fought fierce clashes with Islamic State militants and retook control of the eastern part of the city of Ramadi, while the troops seized a road linking the city to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the military said on Tuesday.
The troops and allied paramilitary Sunni tribal fighters recaptured several areas in eastern Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s western province of Anbar, including the districts of Sajjariyah and Juwaiba, and rushed into Huseiba al-Sharqiya area, the military said in a statement, Xinhua reported.
“Our forces are advancing firmly to chase the enemy, and have opened the highway between Ramadi and Baghdad which passes through the town of Khaldiyah, the statement said, referring to the road that also links Ramadi with the military airbase of Habbaniyah where US troops and allied coalition military personnel stationed.
The military statement was an official announcement for the liberation of the areas in eastern Ramadi, as the troops had launched a major offensive to flush out IS militants from Ramadi and declared a victory on December 28 when the troops captured the city, raising the Iraqi flag on the government complex there.
Government troops and allied militias have also been fighting for months to take back other key cities and towns in Anbar, Iraq’ s largest province, from IS militants, who previously seized most of Anbar and tried to advance towards Baghdad.