Reports: ISIS Destroys Ramadi Stadium in Iraq

The militant group ISIS destroyed Ramadi Olympic Stadium days after Iraqi forces had regained control of the 30,000-capacity stadium.

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Jul 20 2015, 1:56pm

Just days after the Iraqi army regained control of the Ramadi Olympic Stadium, ISIS destroyed it via remotely detonated explosives. The Olympic stadium was the largest in the region and was supposed to include a soccer pitch, additional smaller fields, and track and field areas.

Since the U.S. left Iraq, the city of Ramadi has been at the center of a power struggle between Iraq and ISIS and it recently fell to the militant group in May. The Iraqi army has mounted an attempt to take the city back and began using the stadium as a base to launch attacks. Prior to leaving the region, ISIS reportedly filled the stadium with explosives.

Speaking to ARA News, Abu Yasser, a tribal leader in the city of Fallujah, said that IS militants, before their withdrawal from al-Bujileeb northwest of Ramadi, had filled the Olympic Stadium with explosives.
"Days after the Iraqi army forces regained control of it, the group blew up the stadium, causing dozens of casualties among the Shiite Popular Mobilization forces who were taking the area as a military base," he added.

Other reports say the stadium, which had a capacity of 30,000, was empty of security and military forces—they vacated the stadium a "few days ago."