ISIS suicide bombers killed three Iraqi soldiers and wounded 17 on Friday after they drove 10 vehicles packed with explosives into an Iraqi army base near Ramadi. Anbar Provincial Council leader, Sabah Al-Karhut told CNN that the attacks happened in quick succession. ISIS targeted the Iraq’s 10th Division base northeast of Ramadi. ISIS still controls 25% of the city despite Iraqi Special Forces drove ISIS fighters out of the center of Ramadi.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the bombed-out city this week, raising the Iraqi flag and declaring that 2016 “will be the year we drive ISIS out of Iraq.” Efforts to expel ISIS are expected to take weeks, especially in light of the jihadists’ tactics of hiding among local populations and booby-trapping territory they abandon. The Sunni extremist group seized the provincial capital in May. It was a humiliating setback for the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led coalition backing Iraqi forces.
Iraqi leaders are aiming to retake Mosul but U.S. military experts believe that task will be challenging. Mosul is 250 miles north of Baghdad and fell to ISIS in 2014 after Iraqi soldiers fled the area. CNN analyst Army Lt. Gen Mark Hertling believes the Iraqi government is trying to accomplish too much too quickly.
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