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Iraqi Forces Continue Battle Against IS Militants For Control Of Ramadi

Islamic militants have been besieging Ramadi for months. (file photo)

Iraqi government forces were reinforcing positions within the Ramadi early on May 17 as a major urban battle continued against Islamic State militants who seized most of the city on May 15.

A coalition of pro-government Sunni tribesmen and Iraqi troops, backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes, forced the IS militants to retreat on May 16 from a heavily fortified complex of government buildings.

Reports said the militants left behind booby traps and set several buildings on fire before retreating.

The government compound contains the office for the governor of Anbar Province as well as the police and intelligence headquarters.

The militants had besieged Ramadi for months and managed to capture most of the city after launching a wide offensive in several parts of Anbar Province, including an assault led by several suicide car bombers in Ramadi on May 14.

With reporting by Reuters and Al Jazeera