Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi planted the national flag after the army retook the city centre a success that may help vindicate his strategy for rebuilding the military after shocking defeats, from Islamic State.
“Others had designs on farther assaulting the West.”
Among those killed was Abdul Qader Hakim, who eased the militants’ operations that were external and had links to the Paris assault network, Warren said.
Mouadan was planning additional attacks against the West, he added.
Air strikes on the leaders of Islamic State helped clarify recent battlefield successes from the group, which likewise lost control of a dam on a tactical supply route near its de facto capital of Raqqa on Saturday in Syria.
“Part of these achievements is attributable to the fact the organisation is losing its direction,” Warren said.
He warned “It is still got fangs.”
“EXCITED ABOUT THAT SUCCESS”
The seizure of the center of Ramadi on Sunday of the Iraqi military is its first important success from the hardline Sunni Islamists that came after months of careful progress backed by coalition air strikes, and swept in 2014.
The prime minister had not been in danger but was made to depart the place, they said.
Arriving by helicopter in the shattered city west of Baghdad, Abadi and soldiers travelled in a convoy of Humvees and met in the key government complex seized by counterterrorism forces on Monday, where he put the tricolour flag that was Iraqi.
Thursday, he’d pronounced the visit to Ramadi himself and declared a national holiday in party, despite the fact that security forces must remove explosives planted through the city and clear out combatants in some thickly built up places.
Ramadi was the sole city to have fallen under Islamic State management since Abadi took office.
The retaking of Ramadi indicated Abadi’s strategy of significant U.S. air support while sidelining the Shi’ite militias could be successful. The militias have functioned as a bulwark against Islamic State but drawn objections.
“Ramadi is an example the regular army wants to encourage for coming conflicts of liberation,” Hashimi said.
Coalition spokesman Warren said victims to Iraqi forces throughout the battle for Ramadi were in the low double digits. Iraqi officials and he get Islamic State victims in the hundreds.
Those approximations could not be independently confirmed by Reuters.
The government has designated the largely Sunni city of Mosul, 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad, as another goal for Iraq’s armed forces.
But Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters the military would need assistance from ethnic Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to retake the biggest city below the control of Islamic State to equal ethnic and religious groups.
“Mosul wants great preparation, groundwork, dedication from each of the key players,” Zebari, a Kurd, said on Monday in Baghdad.
“Peshmerga is an important force; you cannot do Mosul without Peshmerga,” he explained, referring to the armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous northern area close to Mosul.