ISIL militants have produced another video this time claiming it was taken on the streets of the fallen Iraqi city of Ramadi. But within hours of it being seized by the militants, a counter offensive was being prepared by Shi’ite militia fighters.
The US-led coalition has also stepped up air strikes against the Islamists after Washington admitted the fall pf Ramadi was a setback.
Jeff Ratke, US State Department Spokesman:
“As of today, we are supporting the Iraqi security forces and the government of Iraq with precision air strikes and advice to the Iraqi forces. Our aircraft are in the air searching for ISIL targets, and they will continue to do so until Ramadi is retaken.”
Iran involvement of mounting concern
The ‘Shi’ite forces, 3,000 of them, are backed by Tehran. On Monday Iranian Defence Minister General Hossein Dehghan made a surprise visit to Baghdad for talks with his Iraqi counterpart.
Iran’s growing involvement is said to be of mounting concern among members of the US- led coalition.
To some analysts , the fall of Ramadi shows the limits of the US strategy of attacking from the air, but leaving ground fighting to Iraq’s military and its Iran- backed militia allies.
Meanwhile thousands of residents who’ve fled Ramadi are making for the Iraqi capital which is only around 100km away.
It is feared the deployment of the Shi’ite militia in the Sunni dominated area could add to sectarian animosity in one of the most violent parts of Iraq