— COL Steve Warren (@OIRSpox) December 22, 2015
Angesichts des begonnenen Angriffs auf die islamistischen ISIS-Milizen in der irakischen Stadt Ramadi und der anscheinenden Gebietsverluste ein neuer Sammelthread: Irakische Truppen, unterstützt von Luftangriffen der internationalen Koalition, haben am (heutigen) Dienstag damit begonnen, Ramadi zurückzuerobern.
Von der New York Times:
Iraqi soldiers began a fierce assault to wrest control of the city of Ramadi from the Islamic State on Monday night, and by midday on Tuesday they had battled their way toward the city center despite heavy resistance, an army commander said.
The operation was undertaken by a mixture of soldiers, police officers and Sunni tribesmen opposed to the Islamic State, with close air support from the United States. “They are moving into the city center,” said Col. Steven H. Warren, the United States military spokesman in Baghdad.
Und von dpa:
Iraqi special forces Tuesday said they were fighting deep inside Ramadi ahead of a major operation planned to recapture the western city from Islamic State jihadists.
The forces crossed the Euphrates river at a secured point and penetrated the city centre, heading for government buildings, Anti-Terrorism agency spokesman Sabah al-Numan said.
The provincial chief of police however said a full-scale battle to liberate the city, which fell to Islamic State in May in a major blow to the government, was still days away.
Bereits am Montagabend hatte der Verteidigungs-Informationsdienst Jane’s vorgerechnet, dass ISIS in diesem Jahr 14 Prozent der zuvor kontrollierten Gebiete aufgeben musste:
The Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ shrunk by 12,800 km2 to 78,000 km2 between 1 January and 14 December 2015, a net loss of 14%, according to the latest estimates by the IHS Conflict Monitor team.
Losses in 2015 include large swathes of Syria’s northern border with Turkey, including the Tal Abyad border crossing, which was the group’s main access point to the Turkish border from their de-facto capital Raqqa.
Other substantial losses in Iraq include the city of Tikrit, the fiercely contested Beiji refinery complex, and a stretch of the main highway between Raqqa and Mosul, complicating the transfer of goods and fighters between the two cities.
Eine zusammenfassende Übersicht zu diesen Gebietsverlusten findet sich bei Spiegel Online.
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