Shi'ite Militia's gear up to take on ISIS insurgents
Published on May 19, 2015 12:29:29 PM
Thousands of Shi'ite militiamen on Monday prepared to fight Islamic State insurgents who seized the Iraqi provincial capital Ramadi. ISIS took control over Ramadi at the weekend and it is considered as one of the biggest defeat for Iraqi government forces after Mosul.
ISIS took over the capital Province on Saturday and consequently massive violence and beheading took place. The capital heartland has been left in sole hands of devastation. The city was deserted as around 26,000 people fled away.
About 3,000 Shi'ite militia fighters have gathered at a military base near Ramadi.
Officials from two of the most powerful Shiite militias said that their fighters were launching attacks on Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, in a move to restore government control over the city.
The main aim of Shi’ite Militiamen is to prevent Islamic State from advancing east toward the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, or south toward Shiite holy sites. Already region’s largest cities - Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul are seized by ISIS indurgents.
The decision by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is a Shi'ite, to send in the militias to try to retake the predominantly Sunni city could add to sectarian hostility in one of the most violent parts of Iraq.
Washington is leading airstrikes campaign in an effort to rebuild the shattered army of Bhagdad and trying to roll back ISIS moves. But despite all efforts, insurgents took over the largest city.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said it was a "target of opportunity," that could be retaken in a matter of days, and U.S. officials insisted there would be no change in strategy despite a failure to make major advances against Islamic State.
Over 19 airstrikes have been carried out in past 72 hours on request of Iraqi Security Forces
Head of Anbar provincial council, Sabah Karhout said that Militiamen have reached the Habbaniya base and are now on standby.