Battle of Ramadi: Families Reportedly Emerge From Rubble Waving White Flags After Battle:
The provincial capital in the productive Euphrates River valley west of Baghdad is the largest city to have been recaptured from Islamic State, and the first retaken by the military in Iraq as it fell in the route of the militants’ progress 18 months past.
The success was hailed as a turning point by the Iraqi government, which says its refurbished military get the better of the group in Iraq in 2016, and will soon march on Islamic State’s chief Iraqi stronghold Mosul farther north.
An aged woman emerged from a house waving a white flag on the end of a stick as an Iraqi military line progressed through the destroyed city. Shortly, kids, a hurt girl being shoved in a wheelbarrow and guys taking little kids in their own arms followed her. As blasts may be heard in the space they flinched.
“They (Islamic State) aren’t Muslims, they’re animals,” one of the guys saved from the central district told a Reuters television cameraman accompanying the progressing Iraqi column.
They saved us,” the guy said before breaking into tears.
Another guy told Reuters television the fighters had killed seven individuals who refused to come with them to a different district where they were making a stand.
Major Salam Hussein told Reuters television that families were being used by the militants as human shields. More than 52 families were saved up to now in the city, he said.
The existence of civilians was delaying the progress of the troops eastward from the central district they got on Sunday, where the provincial government is situated, the policeman said.”Warplanes don’t attack any target in central Ramadi unless they’re certain there are not any civilians nearby,” said the policeman.
The triumph in Ramadi, which was seized by Islamic State combatants in May, was by far the greatest success for Iraq’s military as it fled in the surface of the combatants’ lightning progress across a third of Iraq in 2014, left its American armour.
The combatants have demanded an ultra-hardline model of Sunni Islam carried out mass killings and rapes, and disavowed by all leading Sunni authorities. Most regional and world powers have joined the battle against them, frequently backing competing groups in complicated, multi-sided civil wars in both Syria and Iraq that make it almost impossible to reach international unity.
America is heading a coalition with European nations and important Arab states which has been attacking against Islamic State goals from the air, however a fundamental challenge has been reconstructing the Iraqi military into a force effective at catching and holding land on the earth.
Preceding conflicts were fought with the military playing a supporting character behind Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia combatants, although this risked alienating Sunni Muslim residents in Islamic State-held regions.
An integral element of the strategy for the authorities would be to set Ramadi in the control of local Sunni tribal figures, an echo of the 2006-2007 “upsurge” effort by U.S. forces at the peak of the 2003-2011 U.S. war in Iraq, in which Washington procured the help of Sunni tribes against a forerunner of Islamic State.
Provincial police chief Brigadier Hadi Rizaiyj said authorities were investigating men who remained behind in Ramadi to ascertain whether they had connections with Islamic State.”The counterterrorism forces are freeing civilians in misery and delivering them to the Anbar state authorities; the authorities subsequently have names of wanted individuals,” Rizaiyj said.
Some 4 million people have fled Islamic State-held land in Iraq, most of them Sunni Muslims.
“Security forces, along with the residents of these regions as well as the tribes, should coordinate to make sure that the terrorist gangs cannot return again and form sleeper cells that make up a risk.”