Since the fall of Ramadi, Iraq, United States veterans have become angry and upset over the loss of the city. Ramadi is important to the veterans because it is one of the places they took over during the Iraq War. They bristle at the sight of the ISIS flag-waving above the government complex.
Many are wondering why their hard-fought gains were so easily surrendered when Iraqi forces, following the U.S. pullout, were unable to stand up to the black-clad terrorist army. Ramadi, once a city of 750,000 people lies some 70 miles west of Baghdad in the Sunni-majority province.
During the Iraq War, which raged from 2003 to late 2011, nearly 5,000 coalition forces were killed and more than 32,000 wounded. Some of the war’s fiercest fighting occurred in Anbar province, particularly in Fallujah and Ramadi. Nearly a decade after American forces fought to free Ramadi, the city has become a bloody battleground yet again.
Iraqi troops, driven out by a much smaller ISIS army, are poised to mount a counter-offensive, aided by a coalition of Shia Muslim fighters. But the failure by Iraqi forces to hold the city has already led to a humanitarian crisis, as an estimated 25,000 Iraqi refugees have fled for safety, most of them heading along Route Michigan for Baghdad.