ISIS controlled all of Ramadi on Sunday after the last Iraqi security forces pulled out from a key military base on the west side of the city, the mayor and a high-ranking security official said. The ISIS advances came after militants detonated a series of morning car bomb blasts, Mayor Dalaf al-Kubaisy and a high-ranking Iraqi security official said. The explosions forced Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters to retreat to the city’s east, they said. The violence is the latest in the struggle by Iraqi and allied forces against ISIS militants for control of Ramadi, the beleaguered provincial capital of Anbar province.
The city is just a few miles from an Iraqi army headquarters that ISIS blew up in March and 110 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad. Ramadi is strategically located in the middle of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim heartland, which is largely controlled by ISIS. While ISIS declared victory and claimed full control of the city, the Iraqi Federal Police vowed to stamp out ISIS in the region. In a statement, police said Brig. Gen. Raid Shakir Joudat was on the way “commanding a huge force consisting of various weapons to cleanse Anbar province from terrorist gangs.” FULL REPORT