Why Ramadi Victory Is Key in the Fight Against ISIS

Ramadi is a major symbolic accomplishment for the Iraqi Security Forces.

A victory in Ramadi would allow Iraqi and coalition forces to focus more attention on the city of Mosul in the north, which remains under tight ISIS control.

Even with the Ramadi capture, Iraqi security forces will be battling ISIS for the foreseeable future. Pockets of Ramadi remain under siege and Iraqi military commander Maj. Gen. Ismail al-Mahlawi estimated that ISIS militants remained in about 30 percent of the city. As of this morning, Iraqi forces were working to diffuse IEDs left behind in the government center by ISIS militants.

But taking the government center of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, is a major symbolic accomplishment for the Iraqi Security Forces.

Colonel Steve Warren, the U.S. military spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, congratulated the Iraqi soldiers, saying in a statement, “The clearance of the government center is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work. Today’s success is a proud moment for Iraq.”

U.S. forces and coalition members provided more than 630 airstrikes and training of Iraqi Army brigades in the fight to take back Ramadi.

The Iraqi Security Forces celebrated their accomplishment today by raising the Iraqi flag over the government complex.