Islamic State Captures Ramadi in Anbar, Iraq

US Marine in Ramadi, Iraq in 2006.  Image Source DOD

US Marine in Ramadi, Iraq in 2006.
Image Source DOD

Ramadi, Islamic State (nsnbc) – The office of the governor of Iraq’s Al-Anbar province told the press on Monday, that about 500 civilians and Iraqi soldiers have been killed and that some 8,000 have fled as the city of Ramadi fell into the hands of insurgents of the Islamic State a.k.a ISIS or ISIL. The Al-Anbar province is strategically significant for the trafficking of weapons, troops and logistics from Saudi Arabia to insurgents in Syria.

Attempts by the Iraqi military, accompanied by isolated U.S. airstrikes failed to prevent the capture of the Al-Anbar province capital Ramadi by ISIL.

Local sources report that the insurgents committed mass executions after they captured the city. The exact number of casualties / killed is currently unknown. The spokesman for the office of the governor of Al-Anbar province, Muhannad Haimour, told the press:

“We don’t have an accurate account yet.  We estimate that 500 people have been killed, both civilians and military, and that approximately 8,000 have fled the city”.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi encouraged the Iraqi military and civil defense units not to abandon their positions in Al-Anbar province to prevent that the capture of Ramadi would result in the capture of the entire province. The Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS / ISIL is estimated to control about 50 – 65 percent of the Al-Anbar province.The estimate is based on casualties and the displacement of people since Friday, when the insurgents launched the final stages of an offensive against the city. The U.N. reports that an estimated 114,000 have fled Ramadi and surrounding villages since April.

It was the decision of former Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki, in 2012, to deploy the Iraqi military to Al-Anbar to prevent the trafficking of weapons, fighters and logistic supplies to ISIL in Syria’s Deir Ez Zour province that, according to well-informed sources led to the decision to out Al-Maliki and to launch a major offensive with ISIL brigades.

The final decision to launch the campaign was, according to an insider around the former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri made on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Turkey in November 2013.

CH/L – nsnbc 18.05.2015

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