ISIS-controlled Ramadi: Latest News
Posted in: CURRENT AFFAIRS
Nearly 25,000 people have fled ISIS-controlled Ramadi after the attack by militants, the United Nations said on Monday. Most of them are reportedly heading towards Baghdad.
Funds to help them were running out and aid supplies were almost exhausted, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq said as reported by Reuters.
The loss of Ramadi, capital of western Anbar province, is a major setback for both the Iraqi government and US efforts to stabilize the situation in the region, says the BBC’s Jim Muir in Beirut.
“There's no denying that this is indeed a setback, but there's also no denying that we'll help the Iraqis take back Ramadi,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters while traveling with US President Barack Obama.
“We believe that Iraqi forces have the capacity to ultimately take Ramadi with coalition support,” Schultz told Reuters.
On Tuesday, Iraqi security forces moved its heavy military equipment and artillery around Ramadi in order to take back the city captured by Islamic State militants.
ISIS, in turn, is beefing up to defend the Iraqi city of Ramadi, residents say, while Iranian-backed militiamen gather in the eastern part of Ramadi.
Witnesses said IS militants had taken defensive positions and set landmines after capturing the city on Sunday.
One US official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, called Ramadi “a powder keg” and said that any use of militia must “be dealt with very, very delicately.”
“There's the potential it can go very, very badly,” the official added.
Furthermore, there was reported fighting between Syria’s army and insurgents around a military base south of Idlib city on Monday.
Ramadi fell on Sunday, and about 500 people have been killed in the fighting for Ramadi in recent days, local officials said.
The International Organization for Migration said 40,000 people had fled the city in the past four days.
Images via REUTERS/Stringer, PHOTOGRAPH/AP, REUTERS | MYC Bulletin Writer Polina Tikhonova