Friday, July 17, 2015

17 July 2015

In Ramadi  today, security forces have established control over areas around Ramadi while tightening their stranglehold on the eastern areas where they are now in total control of eastern Husayba and Juwayba, and of the areas across the river from the city. Fierce clashes have been underway in the eastern outskirts where 3 explosives-rigged were blown up before the ISIL gunmen could drive them toward their intended targets. Military operations have also been underway in the southern and southwestern outskirts of the city, and in the city's western areas. Iraqi and Coalition air strikes today have killed at least 13 ISIL gunmen in the southwestern sector. In northern Ramadi, security forces have taken control of the Ramadi-Fallujah Highway, and are now slowly advancing into the city. They are having to clear numerous explosive devices along their way, an effort that is hampering their advance. Meanwhile, security forces have established three routes through which many Ramadi families are departing the city.

In Fallujah, the city is surrounded on six fronts; military operations are underway in the city's southwestern outskirts, including Saqlawiya, and eastward alongside the Fallujah-Baghdad Highway. Iraqi and Coalition air strikes have also targeted ISIL positions within Fallujah. The General Hospital is reporting that 8 residents, including one child, have been killed, and at least 15 injured, including 4 women.

Air strikes have also been launched at the areas around Garma, but in spite of the advances made by security forces into the town, they have yet to take full control of the town center.

Meanwhile ISIL gunmen are still preventing civilians from leaving Fallujah where they are using them as human shields, but security forces have been able to establish two routes that Fallujah families can use to leave the city. Those who left are still stranded and facing the closure of the Bzaybiz Bridge crossing.

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