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Iraqi Army Captures Areas Around Ramadi, Opens Road To Baghdad

Iraqi forces say they have recaptured territory around the western city of Ramadi from the Islamic State (IS) group.

The military said on February 9 that the army, police, and counterterrorism forces reopened the road linking Ramadi to the Habbaniya base, where U.S.-led coalition forces are located, and the capital, Baghdad.

Iraq announced in December the recapture of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, but daily fighting with IS fighters continued on the city's eastern outskirts.

The latest advance boosts government efforts to close in on Fallujah, the IS stronghold east of Ramadi that is besieged by the army and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias.

In the north, Iraqi officials say the army is deploying thousands of soldiers to a base to eventually retake the city of Mosul from the IS group.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP