Iraqi security forces have moved to within a few hundred meters of the government complex in Ramadi, as they try for a decisive victory to retake the devastated city from Islamic State militants.
Iraqi officials said December 26 snipers, improvised roadside bombs and suicide attackers have slowed the push to root out the remaining militants, who seized the city in May.
A spokesman, Brigadier Yahya Rasool, said army troops and an elite counterterrorism unit were within 800 meters of the complex, helped by air strikes from the U.S.-led international coalition.
As many as 400 fighters are believed to remain in the city.
If government troops retake Ramadi, it will be the second major city, after Tikrit, to be retaken.
That would give Iraq’s government and its allies badly needed momentum to push Islamic State out of the rest of its territory, including the country’s second largest city, Mosul.