Troops have raised the Iraqi flag on top of the government compound in central Ramadi, military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul said Monday.
Ramadi, in Anbar province, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) from Baghdad, fell to ISIS in May, a major setback in the country’s effort to contain the terror group.
Iraqi TV showed Iraqi soldiers celebrating what the government is calling the “liberation” of the city. During the live coverage, explosions and gunfire could be heard in the background. Ramadi is a predominantly Sunni Arab city, and the Iraqi military forces are mostly Shiites.
‘A significant accomplishment’
The U.S.-led coalition that has been launching airstrikes on ISIS targets addressed the positive development Monday.
“The clearance of the government center is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work by the Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Iraqi Air Force, local and federal police and tribal fighters,” coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.
Warren told CNN that Iraqi forces have made “great progress” securing what is essentially the city hall of Ramadi and areas south to railroad tracks, and have cleared some major neighborhoods. But there remain pockets of insurgents — some six to eight men — fighting back in some neighborhoods, he said.
Read more at CNN.