Iraq army halts anti-IS operation in Ramadi due to weather

BAGHDAD: The spokesman for Iraq's defence ministry says the Iraqi military has temporary halted its offensive to retake the city of Ramadi from the Islamic State group due to inclement weather.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool says that some units faced difficulty as heavy rains battered parts of Iraq for the third straight day Friday. He says they were ordered to hold their position until the weather improves.

Iraqi troops launched an operation to retake Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province, from the Islamic State group earlier this month in an effort to open a corridor for security forces to proceed to the northern city of Mosul.

Ramadi fell to IS in May, after more than a year of intense clashes between the militants, the military and local tribesmen.