One day into their much-hyped offensive against the ISIS-held city of Ramadi, Iraqi troops and their allies have stalled almost immediately, with reports that the troops entered the grounds of the university, but were unable to retake it.
Troops are mostly on the outskirts of Ramadi, and 17 troops were killed in a series of suicide attacks against the front lines almost as soon as they announced the offensive.
Though Shi’ite militias predicted a victory over ISIS almost immediately in Ramadi, experts of downplaying the chances of a quick victory, and the Pentagon confirmed ISIS is continuing to fortify the city in anticipation of a counteroffensive.
ISIS doesn’t seem overly concerned by the offensive, either, sending some of its forces out to capture Hashd al-Shaabi, another village in the Anbar Province.
Iraqi military officials say their near-term goal is to surround the city, and attributed their inability to make any progress through the last day to a sandstorm, which they say ISIS used to their advantage.