Published on 26th May 2016 by

Retaking Ramadi (2007): A first-hand account of the slow and brutal battle for Ramadi.

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Taking back control of key cities like Ramadi was a key aim of the US troop surge. In this powerful report, we accompany the soldiers fighting block by block to regain Ramadi.

Under cover of choking smoke, Iraqi and US soldiers begin their final assault on the rebels’ stronghold. “Attention! Attention! Citizens of Ramadi remain in your houses”, blares a loudspeaker warning. But it’s drowned out by tank fire. “In the aftermath of operations in Fallujah, terrorists came to Ramadi”, explains Col Ali, the Iraqi commander leading the assault. This platoon of Iraqi and US soldiers is a working model of America’s strategy for victory in Iraq. But relations with the local community remain strained. “We are terrified because they treat us badly”, states one man. It’s hoped that things will improve when recruits from Ramadi are assigned here. In recent months, local leaders have sent thousands of young men to enlist on the understanding they’ll be able to serve in their home province. “I volunteered to serve to save Ramadi from wicked people”, explains one recruit. But the security locals crave comes at a price. Within a few hours of the assault beginning, the streets are littered with bodies. The soldiers won this fight but there are reports of civilian casualties. What will the legacy of this battle be?

ABC Australia – Ref. 3476

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