Iraqi military in Ramadi. AP Photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region- Iraqi forces have announced an emergency stop to the anticipated liberation of the Anbar province town of Hit in Haditha hoping to give the locals time to escape, an Iraqi official announced on Monday.
“To give the residents of Hit and its nearby areas a chance to leave the Iraqi security forces decided to stop the military operations temporary,” explained Raja Barakat, the head of Anbar provincial council in a press conference.
Barakt said that the Iraqi army and US-led coalition warplanes are continuing pounding ISIS strongholds in the surrounding areas.
“Hundreds of families inside the town are trying to escape ISIS,” he said.
Eid Amash, a spokesperson for the Anbar provincial council, recently told Rudaw that ISIS has withdrawn from several towns in the province after their recent defeats.
Amash believes that ISIS cannot withstand the coalition air strikes and advances by the Iraqi army.
ISIS seized Ramadi on May 17 last year, in what is considered one of the jihadists’ most important victories, and most of Anbar, the largest province in Iraq, fell to ISIS fighters in January 2014.