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Iraqi forces ask residents of ISIS-held Ramadi to evacuate city

Iraqi military planes dropped leaflets on Sunday on Ramadi, asking residents to leave within 72 hours the western city

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Iraqi military planes dropped leaflets on Sunday on Ramadi, asking residents to leave within 72 hours the western city which is under the control of ISIS militants, state TV reported, citing a military statement.

It gave no further details but an army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters: “It is an indication that a major military operation to retake the city center will start soon.”

Last week Iraqi security forces said they had made advances on two fronts in Ramadi, clearing ISIS militants from a key military command base and the sprawling neighborhood of al-Taamim on the western rim of the city.

Iraqi intelligence estimates the number of ISIS fighters that are entrenched in the center of Ramadi at 250 to 300.