Kerry confident Islamic State takeover of Ramadi will be reversed

  • World
  • Monday, 18 May 2015

SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday he was confident the Islamic State takeover of the western Iraqi city of Ramadi would be reversed in coming weeks.

Kerry told a news conference in Seoul that Ramadi had been a target of opportunity for the Islamist militants.

"I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead that's going to change, as overall (they) have been driven back ... I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed."

Islamic State militants said they had taken full control of Ramadi on Sunday, in the biggest defeat for the Baghdad government since last summer.

On Saturday, U.S. officials said special forces had carried out a raid inside Syria that killed a man identified as a senior Islamic State leader, Abu Sayyaf.

Kerry said the strike had eliminated a "major leader" and resulted in "a significant intelligence gain".

"In addition, their communications have been reduced and their funding and financial mechanisms have been reduced and their movements by and large have been reduced."

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Tony Munroe)

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