Iraqi forces recapture areas around IS-held Ramadi

Baghdad: Iraqi security forces on Wednesday retook control of several areas from the Islamic State (IS) militants around the city of Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar, a military spokesman said.

The security forces, allied paramilitary groups known as Hashd Shaabi and Sunni tribal fighters made a progress toward the militant-seized city of Ramadi from several directions, Brig. Gen. Yahiya Rasoul, spokesman of the joint operations command said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

The troops’ advance was part of an offensive launched in the early hours of the day to free Ramadi from IS militants.

A provincial security source told Xinhua that the troops and allied militias have liberated areas of Albu Jlieb, Zankoura as an area known as Kilometer 5 west of Ramadi.

Fierce clashes between the troops and IS militants are underway as the troops are moving forward to other areas of Albu Shaaban, Albu Dhiyab, Albu Ali al-Jasim and Albu Risha, which are located near the highway north of Ramad, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The attacks came as Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi paramilitary militias have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in Iraq’s largest province from extremist IS militants, who have seized most of Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad.