Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst, said he is concerned that the Iraqi government might be trying to accomplish too much too quickly. A spokesperson for the Iraqi army said Iraqi troops temporarily retreated from the base after it was attacked by suicide bombers, which preempted an attack by six IS vehicles.
“Nineveh police managed to kill seven attackers but three were able to detonate their suicide vests”, he said.
The target was a police force from Nineveh, the northern province of which Mosul is the capital, that was undergoing training at the Speicher military base.
“The majority of these are outside downtown Ramadi to the north and east”, and so far Iraqi government forces have successfully repelled every attack, said Baghdad-based coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren. The administration’s many critics called it a disaster, and proof that President Obama’s strategy to defeat the militants was failing.
Army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units are now battling to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.
“They (Islamic State) are not Muslims, they are beasts”, one of the men rescued from the central district told a Reuters cameraman with the advancing Iraqi column.
He said there has been no evidence of Isis having enough “combat power to move Iraq off their positions”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared 2016 will be the year “of the big and final victory” and vowed to “terminate” Isis’ presence in Iraq.
The attack comes as IS continue to counterattack on the edges of the city of Ramadi, a week after it was recaptured by Iraqi troops.