Officials: Iraqi Forces in Center of ISIS-Held City

Mideast Iraq Islamic State
AP

Iraqi forces have advanced into the center of ISIS-held Ramadi as part of a final push to retake the city, the spokesman for Iraq's counterterrorism forces said Tuesday, NBC News reported.

Sabah al-Nuaman told NBC News that counterterrorism forces were able to cross the Euphrates River into the center of the city, backed by cover from the air. He said 12 ISIS fighters were killed in the sudden assault.

Iraqi forces were less than a half-mile away from the main government complex after advancing through four key areas of southern Ramadi, al-Nuaman said.

ISIS seized Ramadi in May in an embarrassing defeat for Iraqi forces which raised questions from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over whether Iraqis lacked the will to fight.

Iraqi forces launched an offensive to retake Ramadi earlier this month, advancing towards the center of the city and surrounding it with thousands of fighters.

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