Mark Collins – The Fight vs ISIS, Ramadi Section

The city mostly taken (note RCAF strikes below)–what and when next?  At Foreign Policy:

Situation Report: Ramadi fight continues, but fight for Iraq’s Sunnis looms…

Ramadi teeters, but fighting continues. Iraqi forces continue to make their way through Ramadi, street by booby-trapped street. While Baghdad was quick to declare victory on Monday [Dec. 28] over Islamic State fighters in the city after its forces took a key government building, there’s been no word on the status of other important landmarks including the Justice Palace and the Grand Mosque, while some neighborhoods in northern Ramadi have yet to be cleared.

The end of the beginning. But once the clearing operations wrap up, the real fight for Ramadi begins. The city is the first prize in what leaders in Baghdad promise will be a continuing campaign to retake the cities of Fallujah and Mosul, which fell to ISIS in January and June, 2014, respectively. But FP’s Paul McLeary writesthat the fighting — which promises to be hard, and long — is only the first step in trying to bring the country’s Sunni population into the fold. Ramadi offers some lessons for the way forward, which could be crucial to both winning the war and forging a brokered peace between the Shiite government and the powerful Iranian-backed militias that support it, and millions of disaffected Sunnis who want no part of a country so closely aligned with Iran.

Keeping on. Before that struggle can begin, the current fight grinds on. Late Monday, Iraqi officials estimated the government controls about 75 percent of the city, while ISIS fighters still held many villages to the north, south and east of Ramadi. On Monday, U.S and coalition aircraft pounded multiple ISIS positions around Ramadi in seven different strikes, each containing multiple targets. They included five ISIS “tactical units,” eight “fighting positions,” two oil tanker trucks, a suicide car bomber, and others…


Iraq PM vows to defeat ISIS in 2016 after army’s first major victory
[on verra]

Pentagon Officials Hail Iraqi Forces Retaking Ramadi from ISIS
[well they would, wouldn’t they?]

Sights from the battle for Ramadi as Iraqi forces take over the city center


Members of Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism force celebrate on Monday, Dec. 28, at the heavily damaged government complex in Ramadi after they recaptured it from the Islamic State group. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYEAHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

RCAF angle (how much longer for CF-18s?):

Operation IMPACT – Air Task Force-Iraq airstrikes

Air Task Force-Iraq (ATF-I) is part of Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I). It is currently deployed as part of Operation IMPACT, which is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF) – the multinational coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Republic of Iraq and in Syria.

The following provides information about airstrikes conducted by Canadian CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft to date. An airstrike is an aerial attack which is intended to inflict damage on or destroy an objective…

23 Dec 2015

On 23 December 2015, while taking part in coalition airstrikes in support of Iraqi security forces’ offensive operations to clear ISIS from Ramadi, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIS vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the vicinity of Ramadi using precision guided munitions [see also: “New Canadian Government vs ISIS: We Don’t Kill people but…“; more on CF-18s here]…


What Future For the Sunni Arabs of the Levant and Mesopotamia? What State(s)? And the Caliphate

How a Caliphate Comes to Be? Or a Religion Bloodily, er, Reforms?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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