Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has denied reports that the ISIL Takfiri militants have completely taken control of the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.
The reality on the ground will become clear within the next few hours following the victory of security forces and residents of Anbar province. The enemy will face a defeat once again, the Iraqi premier said while addressing the nation in a televised speech on Friday.
He added that the Iraqi army has managed to recapture many territories from the ISIL terrorists and would intensify efforts to expel them from the town of Baiji in the northern province of Salahuddin which is considered the ISIL Takfiri militants’ last fortress.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry also said that a major counter-offensive has already begun to push the ISIL terrorists out of Ramadi.
It added that reinforcements have been sent to the city and that the Air For0ce has carried out a series of airstrikes on other parts of Anbar province.
A member of the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism forces stands guard on a vehicle near Anbar province’s capital of Ramadi on May 8, 2015. © AFP
Ramadi’s Mayor Dalaf al-Kubaisi said on Friday that the ISIL Takfiri militant group in Iraq has taken control of government headquarters in the city.
The ISIL militants also fired a number of mortar shells at residential areas in Ramadi, located about 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of the capital, Baghdad. Scores of people were either killed or sustained injuries in the shelling.
Meanwhile, at least 10 police officers lost their lives and seven others sustained injuries when three vehicles rigged with explosives went off in quick succession in Ramadi on Friday.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been in chaos since ISIL started its campaign of terror in early June 2014. The terrorists are in control of the city of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq.