ISIS (IS or Daesh) is defeated in Ramadi, 110 km west of Bagdad, by the Iraqi army, supported by Sunni tribes.
The capital of Al Anbar province had 450,000 mainly Sunni people in 2004.
The city was taken in May 2015 by ISIS, when the much stronger Iraq army fled.
Iraqi forces have now entered the former government compound. They carefully found their ways through booby-trapped streets and buildings.
Anbar Operations Command announced, that 14 elements of ISIS organization were killed in the cleansing battles of the government complex in the centre Saturday.
No Shiite-paramilitary was used to avoid sectarian tensions.
The ISIS militants have fled. They escaped to Khalidiya Island after their defense lines in the government complex area were collapsed.
Since weeks there were only 200 to 300 ISIS fighters left in the city, likely many of them suicide bombers. The bulk of the Islamic State’s force has already fled the area.
Those remaining have taken many of the city’s residents as hostages. As many as 50.000 were trapped, with an estimated 5000 taken prisoners by ISIS. Before the attack, coalition forces dropped leaflets, warning residents of the coming attack, and urging them to flee the area. ISIS, however, is demanding a ransom $6000 per family to let the resident leave.
The Pentagon congratulated the Iraqi forces for retaking of Ramadi as a “proud moment for Iraq”. “We congratulate the Iraqi Security Forces for their continued success against ISIL in Ramadi,” Col. Steve Warren told. “The clearance of the government center is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work by the Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Iraqi Air Force, local and federal police, and tribal fighters.”
“Yes, the city of Ramadi has been liberated,” Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said in a televised statement. “The Iraqi counterterrorism forces have raised the Iraqi flag over the government complex in Anbar.”
“By controlling the complex this means that we have defeated them in Ramadi,” said Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for government forces. The next step is to clear pockets that could exist here or there in the city.”
Liberating Ramadi gives coalition forces a boost in moral as it is a clear sign, that the Islamic State is on the retreat.
The next target of the operation to push ISIS out of Iraq will be the large city of Mosul. With more than two million people it is the second largest city in the country. This city is key for ISIS as they tax the people and get oil income from this region as well.
Already ISIS has lost ground in recent weeks, loosing 14 percent of its territory and several key cities to Kurdish and Iraqi government forces.