Iraqi forces are making advances on the outskirts of the western city of Ramadi, liberating a number of neighborhoods and dislodging militants of Islamic State.
A press release issued by War media, the media arm of the Iraqi armed forces on Tuesday (December 15) said that troops of counter-terrorism forces have managed to liberate al-Hukm al-Mahali neighbourhood in the district of al-Taamim and a large glass factory on the western outskirts of Ramadi, raising an Iraqi flag over its tower.
The statement said that the Islamic State had incurred heavy losses in both lives and equipment.
Army officials said earlier this month that Iraqi security forces made advances on two fronts in the city of Ramadi, clearing Islamic State militants from a key military command base and a sprawling neighborhood on its western edge, army officials said.
Capture of the sprawling western Ramadi district of al-Taamim and the Anbar Operations Command headquarters could advance government efforts to fully retake Ramadi, which fell to Islamic State in May.
The center of the city remains under Islamic State control, which Iraqi intelligence estimates number between 250 and 300 fighters, with Iraqi military officials saying that militants are losing the initiative and suffering food and ammunition shortages after government forces cut their last supply line into the city last month.
Ramadi, a provincial capital in the fertile Euphrates valley just a short drive west of Baghdad, was Islamic State's biggest conquest since last year, and reversing it would be a major victory for the Iraqi government and its spectrum of allies, that includes the United States.
The city, which is the capital of Anbar province, fell to Islamic State in May, dealing the biggest blow to the Iraqi government in nearly a year. Government forces had, at the time, been fighting back following the loss of much of northern Iraq to the militants in 2014.