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Displaced Sunni people, who fled the violence in the city of Ramadi, arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad, April 17, 2015. Iraqi security forces fought Islamic State militants at the gates of the western city of Ramadi on Friday, and local authorities warned it was in danger of falling unless reinforcements arrived soon. REUTERS/Stringer

USA Today: Iraqi forces fled Ramadi without a fight

WASHINGTON — Iraqi security forces fled Ramadi without putting up a fight, despite holding as much as a 10-to-1 advantage over Islamic State militants, according to two senior U.S. defense officials.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss key details of the battle, said the primary blame in Ramadi rested with Iraqi security forces.

In the days leading up to its fall, a combination of spectacular car bomb attacks, the ambush of an Iraq army patrol and marginal weather spooked the Iraqi forces. The trigger may have been a minor sandstorm that prompted Iraqi commanders to believe that U.S. warplanes would not be able to bomb Islamic State targets.

A phone call to U.S. officials would have cleared up that misunderstanding, one of the officials said.

WNU Editor: How many battles/wars have been lost in the past by forces that had overwhelming manpower and firepower .... but fled when confronted by a smaller and determined foe. The fall of Ramadi sounds like one of those battles.

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