After losing the Anbar capital city of Ramadi to ISIS back in May, Iraqi forces vowed a quick counteroffensive to retake it. That was quickly stalled, and the focus became fighting over nearby Fallujah. Still, officials kept predicting a quick victory to come.
That didn’t go as planned, and now officials are conceding that the Anbar offensive isn’t going to be won so quickly, though they continue to insist that largely unseen “gains” are being made in the fighting.
Still, months into a counteroffensive that was supposed to take days, officials are finally admitting it’s a long-term proposition, and they are further trimming back expectations, with a Badr Brigade spokesman saying that the operations are entirely meant to cut off their supply lines from Anbar into other provinces.
Anbar is Iraq’s largest province, and controlled overwhelmingly by ISIS. While Iraqi forces talk up retaking parts of the province, ISIS has recently also suggested their offensive isn’t over there, with their next target the city of Heet, one of the few government-loyal areas left.