Here were the carcasses of four tanks, charred by the jihadists of the Islamic State. Here, a police officer’s home that the jihadists had blown up. Here, a villa reduced to rubble by an airstrike. And another. And another.
In one neighborhood, he stood before a panorama of wreckage so vast that it was unclear where the original buildings had stood. He paused when asked how residents would return to their homes.
“Homes?” he said. “There are no homes.”
The retaking of Ramadi by Iraqi security forces last week has been hailed as a major blow to the Islamic State and as a vindication of the Obama administration’s strategy to fight the group by backing local ground forces with intensive airstrikes.