The Iraqi air force began dropping leaflets on Ramadi yesterday, advising civilians to amscray in advance of an all-out assault to liberate the city. That assaukt appears to have begun, with Iraqi forces reportedly moving into the center of the city earlier today. ISIS may be (probably is, let’s be honest) preventing civilians from leaving, hoping to use them as human shields.
Obviously getting Ramadi out of ISIS’s hands is important, as is this particular operation in that it’s a test run for a combined Iraqi army-Sunni tribal forces offensive, like the kind that will have to play a role in an offensive on Mosul (whenever that happens). Liberating the city would also be a big win for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, which could maybe give him some political capital to spend on making some desperately needed political reforms in Baghdad.