Informed sources in the Western province of Anbar confirmed that the Iraqi Army alongside the Shiite volunteers have started to move towards Ramadi to fight against the ISIL terrorists who captured the city a few days ago.
The sources said that the army and popular forces have gathered in the town of Husayba, East of Ramadi.
Ramadi – the capital of Anbar province – is only 110km (70 miles) West of Baghdad.
About 500 people died in the city, and more than 40,000 – a third of the population – have fled in the past week.
Military operations to liberate Husayba, 7km (4.5 miles) East of Ramadi, have begun,” a police colonel said.
Witnesses also said that they had seen troops move out of their bases at Habbaniya, about 20 miles (30km) from Ramadi.
About 3,000 Shiite forces had previously arrived in Habbaniya to prepare the attack to retake Ramadi from the ISIL.
On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Ramadi has been surrounded by the Iraqi forces, who are ready to start massive attacks to take the city back from the ISIL terrorist group.
“The army and popular forces have surrounded Ramadi, the center of al-Anbar province,” Abadi said in a meeting with the Russian officials in Moscow.
“Our forces have surrounded Ramadi from different sides and are ready to free it at the earliest,” he added.
The ISIL Takfiris took over a major part of Ramadi earlier this month.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.