Just two days after the US forces killed a top Islamic State commander Abu Sayyaf in a ground operation in Syria, the ISIS has begun to wreak havoc in Iraq.
In the biggest gain for the extremists this year, key Iraqi city of Ramadi which is capital of Anbar province (Iraq’s Sunni heartland) fell to the Islamic State as Iraqi forces reportedly fled the area, leaving behind vehicles and weapons.
It is apparently an inglorious reminder of last summer, when the ISIS had launched a fierce assault on a huge swathe of Iraq, taking over the city of Mosul as the forces had run for their lives, shunning their military weapons and some even their uniforms.
The ISIS used a series of suicide car bombings and staged mass killings of not only soldiers but Iraqi civilians. Some 500 (including civilians) have been reportedly killed and 8000 were forced to flee, a spokesperson for the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province told a news agency.
“We estimate that 500 people have been killed, both civilians and military, and approximately 8,000 have fled the city.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry has meanwhile assured that the situation in Ramadi will be “reversed” in weeks as troops will be re-deployed.