Ugly scars of war & destruction: RT crew goes to Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq [EXCLUSIVE]

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Abandoned houses, shelled vehicles, and ruins everywhere were the desolate remains of cities and towns that an RT crew witnessed while flying over areas ravaged in the war with Islamic State militants in Iraq.

The first place RT’s crew viewed by helicopter was the city and suburbs of Fallujah in Anbar province. Once a prosperous place called “a city of mosques,” it now appears to be completely deserted. Cars caught in shelling and dilapidated buildings where people once lived and prayed now look like scenes from a post-apocalyptic movie.

The main battles have been taking place to the northwest of Fallujah, reports RT Arabic correspondent Ashraf Al Azzawi.

The crew also came to the city of Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province, 50 kilometers from Fallujah. The city was seized by IS militants in May of 2015 after about a week of fighting with governmental forces, but the Iraqi military managed to partially liberate it in December

RT’s camera managed to capture the houses – or what was left of them – blasted by Islamic State terrorists. Some of the buildings are still mined, and thus very dangerous.

In Al-Madiq, a Ramadi suburb that also experienced bloodshed during fighting with Islamic State militants, not a stone had been left unturned. RT’s crew took video showing the positions and tunnels built by the jihadi extremists, which they had to abandon after fierce battles with Iraqi security forces.

READ MORE: Over 22,000 Iraqi civilians killed & injured in violence in 2015 – UN

Islamic State emerged in Iraq in 2013 as an Al-Qaeda affiliate. In 2014, the terror cell attacked Kurdish-held territory in the northern part of Iraq and seized territories in Iraq’s Sunni heartland, including the cities of Mosul and Tikrit. By August of 2014, IS controlled nearly a third of Iraq.

However, Iraqi security forces have been making gains recently with the help of the US-led coalition’s air support.

On February 12, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi claimed that Iraq had won back half of the IS-controlled territory.