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Iraqi Forces Battle Last IS Fighters in Ramadi

  • VOA News

Iraqi security forces enter the southern neighborhoods of Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 23, 2015.

Iraqi security forces enter the southern neighborhoods of Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 23, 2015.

Iraqi forces are battling the last Islamic State militants holed up in the center of Ramadi, as they fight to retake the key city they lost seven months ago in a stunning defeat to the extremist group.

In the third day of a major Iraqi offensive, fighting raged Thursday around a government complex in Ramadi, capital of Iraq's Anbar province.

Iraqi military officials say IS terrorists are trying to slow the Iraqi advance by using suicide bombers, booby traps and snipers, plus civilians as human shields.

More than 100 extremists are believed to be fortified in the city center.

As it pushed closer to central Ramadi, Iraq's military said government forces expect to be in control of the city in a few days. This is the most significant incursion into Ramadi by Iraqi forces since the city fell to IS terrorists in May.

Coalition warplanes have been targeting Ramadi for several weeks with dozens of airstrikes, including targets on the outer edges of the city on Tuesday. Warren said those strikes continue to show Islamic State fighters they have nowhere to hide.

The loss of Ramadi in May was a major setback for the Iraqi government and the army. The effort to retake the city located 100 kilometers west of the capital, Baghdad, has taken months, with fighting on the outskirts and work to cut off militant supply lines running into Ramadi.

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