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US says conditions are finally right for Iraq to begin decisive assault on Ramadi


WASHINGTON — The U.S. military says conditions are now right for the Iraqi army to make a decisive assault on Ramadi and reclaim the provincial capital from Islamic State fighters.

The statement was made Tuesday by Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman in Baghdad for the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Warren said the U.S. has intensified its airstrikes in the Ramadi area over the past 10 days and Iraqi ground forces are beginning to make progress. He said the Iraqis are in the outer Ramadi suburbs, with Iraqi F-16 fighter jets recently joining the operation in support of Iraqi ground troops.

Ramadi fell to the Islamic State in May when Iraqi troops fled, prompting the U.S. to question their will to fight.

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