BAGHDAD – A senior Iraqi commander says Islamic State fighters are putting up a tough fight in the militant-held city of Ramadi, slowing down the advance of Iraqi forces.
Iraq launched a long-awaited operation to recapture the Anbar provincial capital but after an initial push across the Euphrates River, their progress stalled.
Gen. Ismail al-Mahlawi, said Sunday that the advance is hampered by suicide bombers, snipers and booby traps. He says Iraqi troops "need days" to get to the city's central government complex.
Al-Mahlawi, head of the Anbar military operations, says Iraqi troops are now about one kilometer (half mile) from the complex.
Another officer says the Iraqi army has yet to fully control a single Ramadi neighborhood. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to talk to reporters.