In a sign of an impending attack to retake the Iraqi city of Ramadi from the Islamic State group, Iraqi military planes have dropped leaflets on the western city, urging residents to leave within 72 hours.
State TV reported the leaflet drop on Sunday, citing a military statement.
It gave no further details but an army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters: “It is an indication that a major military operation to retake the city centre will start soon.”
Last week Iraqi security forces said they had made advances on two fronts in Ramadi, clearing Islamic State militants from a key military command base and the sprawling neighbourhood of al-Taamim on the western rim of the city.
Iraqi intelligence estimates the number of Islamic State fighters that are entrenched in the centre of Ramadi at 250 to 300.