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Dan Gilmore / May 18, 2015

Ramadi Falls to ISIL

Using car bombs and suicide bombers, ISIL launched an attack Sunday that overran the Iraqi city of Ramadi, capital of the Anbar province and once home to 850,000 people. The Iraqi government was so desperate to hold the city that it called up Shiite militias backed by Iran, a move the Obama administration discourages because it heightens the chance of sectarian war. However, the Pentagon is spinning the defeat, saying the capture of Ramadi is little more than a propaganda victory for ISIL. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, “ISIL seems to have the advantage. They will use this for their own propaganda purposes, but it doesn’t give them a significant tactical advantage.” But Obama’s former ambassador to Iraq has a different take. James Jeffrey told Bloomberg, “It’s a desperate situation in Ramadi. … We can’t assume time is on our side. It isn’t. My feeling is something needs to happen quickly or we’re going to lose all of Anbar.” On Saturday, the Pentagon announced that U.S. Special Forces killed a senior ISIL leader who controlled the group’s moneymaking schemes. While the Pentagon is taking it on the chin for Obama’s failed military strategy, silent professionals are doing their jobs.

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