Sunday 25 September 2016

Iraq government regains control of Ramadi from Isil

Akisha Almante

Published 10/02/2016 | 02:30

Iraqi security forces stand guard while civilians flee to a safe area with help from Iraqi security forces in Ramadi city. Photo: Reuters
Iraqi security forces stand guard while civilians flee to a safe area with help from Iraqi security forces in Ramadi city. Photo: Reuters

Iraqi security forces and the US-led coalition say the government has regained full control of Ramadi after pushing Isil group fighters out of the city's outskirts.

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The Ministry of Interior said yesterday that a road linking Ramadi to the capital Baghdad is also back under government control.  

Col Steve Warren, a spokesman for the coalition, claimed Iraqi security forces have control of the whole city but "untold thousands" of improvised explosive devices were left behind and the threat of militant attacks remained high.

The government pushed Isil out of the centre of Ramadi in December, but struggled to regain control of the city's outskirts.

Ramadi fell to Isil in May 2015, the largest defeat for Iraq's military since Mosul fell in 2014.

Separately yesterday, the US Army Corps of Engineers said they had identified "signs of distress" at Mosul dam, indicating that it was at "significantly higher risk of failure" than previously understood.

The internal assessment, made public by Iraqi parliament on Monday, concludes that the risk of the dam failing has increased over the past year. Previous studies have warned that over half a million people could die if Mosul dam collapsed.

The assessment is dated January 30, just days before Iraq's prime minister awarded an Italian firm a contract to overhaul and maintain the dam.

Mosul Dam has suffered from structural flaws for decades, but it was further destabilised when the area was overrun by the Isil group in 2014.

Irish Independent

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