Officials say Iraqi security forces have recaptured a university campus on the outskirts of Ramadi from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group after launching a surprise offensive with support from U.S.-led coalition air strikes.
A military spokesman said the July 26 capture of the vast compound that IS militants had been using as a base could advance government troops' efforts to retake Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar Province.
Security forces "are now engaging in battles to clean it up from the remains of Daesh and dismantling bombs and clearing roads," the joint operations command said in a statement, using another name for the extremist group.
Officials said government forces were seeking to separate the university from nearby districts to cut supply routes to retreating militants.
Officials said the Hashid Shaabi, the Iran-backed Shi'ite paramilitary groups that Washington has refused to coordinate with, did not participate in the offensive.
IS militants seized Ramadi in May, extending their control over the Sunni Muslim province.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP