The Iraqi Interior Ministry says army soldiers and volunteer forces have made gains against ISIL Takfiri militants in the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.
The ministry made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, confirming that Iraqi forces had surrounded the city from two important directions.
In its statement, the Iraqi ministry quoted the commander of Anbar operations, Major General Qassim Mohammadi, as saying, “The security forces managed to liberate 65 square kilometers of Ramadi areas.”
He said the security forces, in coordination with Popular Mobilization and tribal fighters, “have tightened control on the main ports used by ISIS (ISIL) gangs in funding and escape.”
Iraqi families, who fled the city of Ramadi after it was taken by ISIL, wait to cross the Bzeibez Bridge, on the southwestern frontier of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, May 22, 2015. (© AFP)
Meanwhile, reports say Iraqi forces have killed 37 ISIL militants in artillery attacks east of Ramadi. A number of vehicles belonging to the militants have also been destroyed.
Iraqi Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi has said that government forces would recapture the city “within days.”
Iraq's army forces have also managed to retake the two strategic regions of Tash and Humayrah from the terrorists southwest of Ramadi, which cut the supply line to the ISIL militants.
Parts of Ramadi, located about 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of the capital city, fell to ISIL militants on May 17.
The army operation to retake full control of Ramadi is considered critical in regaining momentum in the anti-ISIL battle.
ISIL militants have been carrying out attacks in different parts of Iraq since June 2014. Iraqi army and volunteer forces have been engaged in joint operations to liberate the areas under ISIL control ever since.
The militants also control parts of Syria.