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    Iraqi security forces cross a bridge built by corps of Engineers over the Euphrates River as Islamic State destroyed all the bridges leading to central Ramadi to block Iraqi security forces from moving forward in Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015

    Iraqi Government Forces Advance on Daesh in Center of Ramadi City

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    The Iraqi army and allied forces have taken control of a strategically important bridge into the city of Ramadi from Daesh terrorists and are continuing their advance into the city center, reported local media.

    The Iraqi army and the Hashd al-Shaabi volunteer force have taken control of the al-Khor bridge close to the city center of Ramadi, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.

    "The Iraqi forces have reached al-Khor region and they are preparing to cross this bridge and the Tigris River," Hashd al-Shaabi commander Raed Raisan told Fars.

    After taking control of the bridge, government forces are working to clear it of mines left there by the Daesh terrorist group, as they continue their advance into the city center.

    "60 percent of Ramadi is now under the control of the Iraqi forces and it has been purged of Takfiri terrorists," Raje Barakat, a member of Anbar governor office's security committee, told Fars.

    "The Iraqi army stormed the first defense lines of the ISIL terrorists in the city center and is now engaged in a heavy street battle with the Takfiri terrorists," army sources said, adding that Iraqi forces have taken control of several districts in the south of Ramadi, and a key road in the north of the city.

    "The Iraqi forces have limited use of artillery shelling on ISIL positions in the city in a bid to avoid civilian casualties."

    "Around 250-300 ISIL militants are trapped in the city center with no way to escape and the pro-government forces are resolved to utilize this chance to hunt them one by one."

    The city of Ramadi is about 100 km west of Baghdad and is the capital of Anbar province, the country's largest governorate which lies in western Iraq.

    In September and October 2014 Daesh terrorists launched a major offensive on the city with the aim of capturing it, and after months of fighting the terrorist group took control of most of the city in May 2015, including government buildings.

    On Wednesday Iraqi army chief of staff Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanemi told Iraqi television that his forces are now close to driving the terrorist group from the city completely.

    "In the coming days the good news of the complete liberation of Ramadi will be announced," al-Ghanemi told Iraqia TV.

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    battle, Iraqi Army, Daesh, Iraq, Ramadi
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