(CNN) – Iraq’s Prime Minister paid a victory visit to Ramadi Tuesday, after government troops proclaimed the city liberated from ISIS militants. The troops are still sweeping the city for bombs and booby traps.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi raised the flag in Ramadi. His government is doubling down on their claim of victory.
If Ramadi is indeed retaken it will have robbed ISIS of a stronghold almost three times the size of the country’s capital. And crucially handed the Iraqi government a win after the humiliation of their retreat in may this year.
A buoyed Al Abadi has promised this is just the beginning.
Haidar Al Abadi: “If 2015 is the year of liberation, then 2016 will be, if god willing, the year of the big and final victory and the termination of ISIS presence in Iraq.”
In Ramadi’s central district families from ISIS territories elsewhere in Anbar Province are beginning to arrive. Risking their lives to flee the areas under ISIS control and seek refuge. A crime ISIS deems punishable by death.
This perhaps, the clearest sign yet, that ISIS’ choke hold, its rule of fear, is weakening.