The Islamic State has “launched a wide-scale attack on Iraqi security forces in Ramadi in an apparent attempt to take the rest of the key central Iraqi city,” according to Governor Suhaib al-Rawi, as quoted by CNN.
The governor said the assault included suicide attacks on security posts with car bombs. On Friday morning, the BBC reported that ISIS forces have seized the main government building in Ramadi, taking at least fifty security personnel hostage. The attack included a half-dozen car bombs detonated outside the government compound, which also contains the city’s main police station and governor’s office.
With this objective captured, ISIS has “nearly full control over Anbar’s provincial capital,” according to AFP, which says the black flag of the terror state can now bee seen flying over the government complex.
The Kurdish news service Rudaw says Iraq is on the verge of losing two other Anbar towns, Garma and Baghdadi, to ISIS. “The towns could fall and Daesh could commit a mass killing against the residents of these two towns if the government doesn’t send enough troops,” warned Sabah Karhut, head of Anbar’s provincial capital, using another name for the Islamic State.
The Rudaw report cites a source in Ramadi that claims at least 50 Iraqi soldiers were killed in battle on Friday.
Ramadi has been hotly contested between the Islamic State and Iraqi forces for months, displacing at least 114,000 people from the area, according to the Iraqi government and United Nations estimates.