U.S.-backed Iraqi forces taking Ramadi block by block

January 22, 2016

The American-backed Iraqi military is facing “intermittent fighting” in Ramadi but is in control of some significant territory once controlled by the Islamic State group in the Euphrates River valley's Anbar province, U.S. defense officials say.

“There's still going to be some tough fighting going ahead,” U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command said Friday.

In Ramadi, the Iraqi army continues to move block by block through the eastern outskirts of the city, removing improvised explosive devices and pushing the Islamic State militants into the rural villages surrounding the provincial capital, defense officials said.

"They are confronting a large number of IEDs and some intermittent fighting," Ryder said in a briefing with reporters.

In support of those Iraqi troops, U.S. aircraft have hit dozens of Islamic State targets in Ramadi during the past week, including fighting positions, tactical vehicles, vehicle-borne IEDs, petroleum trucks, front-end loaders and artillery equipment, defense officials said.