ISIS militants while holding parade in Ramadi. Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — An Iraqi police official said on Monday that foreign members of the Islamic State (ISIS) have withdrawn from the town of Rutbah in western Ramadi, but that the town is still under the group’s control.
Colonel Farouq Jaghify, commander of the Haditha police told Rudaw “Many of the foreign and non-Iraqi ISIS militants left Rutbah with no coming back.”
He added that “So far, the Iraqi forces have not moved towards Rutbah and the town is under ISIS control.”
Iraqi security sources in Anbar reported on Sunday that ISIS militants had started withdrawing from Rutbah and moved to Qaem near the Jordanian border.
On Sunday, Eimad Ahmed, the mayor of Rutbah, said that the ISIS militants had completely left his town.
Ahmad said he believed the militants were forced to withdraw and reorganize elsewhere due to recent setbacks on the battlefield.
Iraqi forces have with close coalition air support made some progress in the Sunni province and succeeded in retaking Ramadi in December after seven months under ISIS control.