ISIS Leaves Behind Mass Grave As Iraqi Forces Retake Ramadi


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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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A mass grave containing approximately 40 civilian bodies was discovered by Iraqi forces in Ramadi Monday, according to an NBC News report.

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) began an offensive against Islamic State in the Iraqi city last month, retaking it Dec. 28. ISIS controlled the city for over seven months before the ISF, aided by U.S. air power, retook it. The bodies were discovered as forces were clearing the last remnants of ISIS from the town.

“Once our forces clear the city from IEDs we will certainly discover more mass graves,” said Anbar Governing Council spokesman Eed Amash to NBC.

Amash noted that as many as 600 families were able to escape the clutches of ISIS while they still controlled the city. However, he claims that some civilians were captured and used as human shields.

Iraq’s victory in Ramadi has been hailed as an important victory in the fight against ISIS. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter hailed the “capable, motivated local forces backed by coalition air support and training,” and called the taking of Ramadi a “significant step forward.”

Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province and less than one hundred miles from the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Though the ISF is poised to retake the city, the fight for Anbar province is far from over. The long struggle ahead was evidenced when Abadi’s helicopter came under small arms fire as he visited the city to declare victory.

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