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Published On: Fri, Jan 1st, 2016

Iraq takes back Ramadi from Islamic State, 10 leaders killed

U.S.-led forces have killed 10 Islamic State leaders in air strikes, including individuals linked to the Paris attacks, a U.S. spokesman said, dealing a major blow to the Sunni militant group after Iraqi forces took back control of the city of Ramadi.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi planted the national flag in Ramadi after the army retook the city center from Islamic State, a victory that could help vindicate his strategy for rebuilding the military after stunning defeats, Reuters report proclaims.

“Over the past month, we’ve killed 10 ISIL leadership figures with targeted air strikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the Paris attacks,” said U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State.

“Others had designs on further attacking the West.”

photo/Islamic State flag

photo/Islamic State flag

Officials report that one of those killed was Abdul Qader Hakim, who facilitated the militants’ external operations and had links to the Paris attack network.

Warren said that Hakim was killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Dec. 26.

Charaffe al Mouadan, a Syria-based Islamic State member with a direct link to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the coordinated bombings and shootings in Paris on Nov. 13 which killed 130 people, was killed in Syria, Warren added.

“Part of those successes is attributable to the fact that the organization is losing its leadership,” Warren said.

He warned, however: “It’s still got fangs.”

The Iraqi army’s seizure of the centre of Ramadi on Sunday is its first major victory against the hardline Sunni Islamists that swept through a third of Iraq in 2014, and came after months of cautious advances backed by coalition air strikes.

Ramadi was the only city to have fallen under Islamic State control since Abadi took office in September 2014.

“He is excited about this victory, because he managed to remove this blot from his historical record as commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based analyst who has worked with the Iraqi government.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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