The city of Ramadi, Iraq was captured by ISIS in May this year. After encroaching on the city from several directions, the militant group managed to rout Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and inflict heavy casualties. In the time since this initial capture however, the Islamic State’s position within the city has become shakier. Following a counter attack by ISF and Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), the tables have been turned and now it is Iraqi forces which surround Ramadi, and are encroaching from several directions. Currently it is unclear if ISIS still has the ability to move supplies and fighters into or out of the city via the Euphrates River, however it is estimated that between 600-1000 ISIS fighters remain in the urban area.
In the last week, Iraqi forces have announced their intention of recapturing the city in one final push. They have warned civilians to evacuate ISIS-held areas, promising them a security corridor in the south of the city. Reports from civilians still inside however indicate that ISIS is preventing them from leaving, instead preferring to keep them as human shields.
While the ISF and PMU forces have large amounts of equipment at their disposal, including US-built M1 Abrams tanks and backing from Coalition air strikes, they will undoubtedly face stiff resistance. ISIS has reported created vast minefields of IEDs, and similar to their tactics elsewhere, will deploy a large number of suicidal VBIED (vehicle-born IED) counter-attacks.