Ramadi: When Iraq claimed its capture of Ramadi from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after a months long siege by the armed group on Sunday night. The officials warned the civilians not to return back to the city as 80 percent of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, has been destroyed in the battles.
Ramadi is a crucial city in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant which was lost to ISIL in May. It is the biggest city in Iraq and the heartland of the Sunni community, its roads leads into Jordan and Syria.
Scores of explosive devices were laid by ISIL fighters across Ramadi. The US-led coalition carried out more than 600 air strikes in the area since July.
There was “extensive destruction in the city as a result of terrorist activity and military operations” said Ibrahim al-Osej, a member of the Ramadi district council. He added.”Preliminary estimates show more than 3,000 homes have been completely destroyed.”
Osej said. “All water, electricity, sewage and other infrastructure such as bridges, government facilities, hospitals and schools have suffered some degree of damage.”
The UN says it will be essential to ensure conditions are in place for people to return in safety. Areas are still insecure, littered with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and booby-traps.
A US operations officer Major Michael Filanowski said,” five bridges in Ramadi which lies on the Euphrates and is 100 kilometres west of Baghdad have suffered various levels of destruction”.
According to the International Organization for Migration the residents of Anbar account for more than one third of the 3.2 million people began fleeing two years ago when ISIL started moving in and tensions escalated.
Meanwhile the aid agencies are providing emergency assistance to the displaced people by giving them plastic sheets to insulate tents, jerry cans for water and toiletries.