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Military says Iraq sending troops to Ramadi, city now largely held by Islamic State group

  • Iraqi family members who left their hometown of Ramadi walk towards Baghdad, outside Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, May 15, 2015. Islamic State militants seized the center of Ramadi in western Iraq and raised their black flag over the government compound, local officials said. (AP Photo)

    Iraqi family members who left their hometown of Ramadi walk towards Baghdad, outside Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, May 15, 2015. Islamic State militants seized the center of Ramadi in western Iraq and raised their black flag over the government compound, local officials said. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi rest before crossing the Bzebiz bridge after spending the night walking towards Baghdad, as they flee their hometown, 65 km west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 16, 2015. Islamic State militants seized the center of Ramadi in western Iraq and raised their black flag over the government compound, local officials said. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)

    Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi rest before crossing the Bzebiz bridge after spending the night walking towards Baghdad, as they flee their hometown, 65 km west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 16, 2015. Islamic State militants seized the center of Ramadi in western Iraq and raised their black flag over the government compound, local officials said. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)  (The Associated Press)

  • Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi cross the Bzebiz bridge after spending the night walking towards Baghdad, as they flee their hometown, 65 km west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 16, 2015. Islamic State militants seized the center of Ramadi in western Iraq and raised their black flag over the government compound, local officials said. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)

    Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi cross the Bzebiz bridge after spending the night walking towards Baghdad, as they flee their hometown, 65 km west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 16, 2015. Islamic State militants seized the center of Ramadi in western Iraq and raised their black flag over the government compound, local officials said. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)  (The Associated Press)

An Iraqi military spokesman says reinforcements have been dispatched to Ramadi, a city now largely held by the Islamic State group.

The spokesman of the Joint Operations Command, Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim, told Iraqi state television Saturday that the U.S.-led coalition was supporting Iraqi troops with "painful" airstrikes since late Friday.

Ibrhaim didn't give details on the ongoing battles, but vowed that the Islamic State group would be pushed out of the city "in the coming hours."

On Friday, the militants swept through Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, seizing the main government headquarters and other key parts of the city. The gains marked a significant setback for the Iraqi government in its long fight to dislodge militants, who hold about a third of the country.