"To read too much into this single fight is simply a mistake," said a Pentagon spokesman."What this means for our strategy, what this means for today, is simply that we, meaning the coalition and our Iraqi partners, now have to go back and retake Ramadi."
The reality is much more complicated. Even as the Islamic State takeover of the capital city of Iraq’s largest province seemed nearly complete on Sunday, the Pentagon continued to argue that the situation was still “fluid and contested.” That assessment was countered by reports that “hundreds of police personnel, soldiers and tribal fighters abandoned the city,” leaving it and a “large store” of American weapons in ISIS hands. The BBC cited a statement “purportedly from IS” claiming that the city had been “purged.”
What the Loss of Ramadi Means for the United States
By Monday morning, Iraqi Shiite militias backed by Iran were seen gathering outside of the city. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s order to mobilize those militias was a risky move for the Iraqi government—Ramadi is a Sunni city in Anbar, a heavily Sunni region; the militias are Shiite.