Iraqi government forces have regained full control of Ramadi after pushing Islamic State group fighters out of the city’s outskirts, according to Iraqi security forces and the U.S.-led coalition. The announcement, more than a month after Ramadi was first declared liberated in December, underscores the slow nature of Iraqi ground operations despite heavy backing from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

The governor of Anbar province praised Iraqi security forces and the U.S.-led coalition for their work to “liberate Ramadi completely,” but was quick to emphasize that critical security and humanitarian issues remained. Violence has emptied Ramadi of civilians and much of the city remains blanketed in homemade bombs, also called improvised explosive devices or IEDs, which ISIS laid in retreat.

Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for the coalition, told The Associated Press that Iraqi security forces have control of the whole city but “untold thousands” of improvised explosive devices were left behind. […]