Iraqi government forces have seized the government complex in the center of Ramadi – the last Islamic State stronghold in the western city, a military spokesman told Reuters.
“By controlling the complex this means that they [Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] have been defeated in Ramadi,” Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for the Iraqi counter-terrorism units leading the fight, told the news agency.
Al-Numani stressed the complex is under full control of the Iraqi forces with “no presence whatsoever of Daesh [ISIS] fighters” adding that some militants could still be hiding in “pockets that could exist here or there in the city.”
According to al-Numan, a major clearing effort is still needed to allow Iraqi troops to move freely around the city as IS militants had filled the area with bombs and booby-traps. The necessity of a clear-up operation prevented the Iraqi government and the military from declaring a victory immediately, although some people in a number of cities were already celebrating, AFP reports.