Iraqi forces, Shiite militiamen to launch Ramadi offensive: spokesman

Published May 22nd, 2015 - 07:02 GMT
Sunni volunteers in the mainly Shiite Popular Mobilization forces take part in training exercises on May 8, 2015.  (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)
Sunni volunteers in the mainly Shiite Popular Mobilization forces take part in training exercises on May 8, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Iraqi government and allied forces are to launch in upcoming days a counter-offensive to retake the Anbar province capital Ramadi from Daesh militants, said a spokesman on Friday according to AFP. 

The city fell to Daesh on Sunday following days of fierce clashes.

“Preparations for the Anbar operations are needed because this operation will not be easy,” Popular Mobilization forces spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi told AFP.  

The Popular Mobilization is a force made up of Shiite militiamen and volunteers and has played an important role in retaking captured territory from Daesh.  Though the force is mainly comprised of Shiite fighters, it is open to Sunni volunteers.  

“It will be a wide operation involving tens of thousands of security forces and Hashed al-Shaabi,” al-Assadi told AFP, using the Arabic name for the volunteer militia

The US announced Wednesday it would send 1,000 AT4 man-portable anti-tank weapons to Iraqi forces to counter car bombs.  Daesh militants employed numerous suicide car bomb attacks in Ramadi as it took over Anbar province’s capital. 

Meanwhile, a US-led coalition conducted 15 airstrikes against Daesh positions in Iraq since Thursday, concentrating around Ramadi, Reuters reported. 


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