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Al Qaeda captures Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Discussion in 'Greater Asia & Middle East' started by ColdPlay, Jan 4, 2014.

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  1. ColdPlay

    ColdPlay Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Iraq government loses control of Fallujah.
    Security source concedes al-Qaeda group owns streets of town in Anbar, the scene of fierce fighting over last week.
    Last updated: 04 Jan 2014 14:41

    An Iraqi government source told AFP it had lost control of Fallujah to ISIL fighters [Reuters]
    The Iraqi army has attacked Fallujah with mortar bombs in an effort to dislodge al-Qaeda linked fighters as an official conceded the government had lost control of the town.

    Medical sources in the Anbar province town said eight people were killed and another 30 people were wounded in shelling by the army on Friday and Saturday.

    An unnamed senior Iraqi official told the AFP news agency that the government had lost control of Fallujah to fighters from al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    An AFP journalist in the town also said that ISIL seemed to be in control, with no security forces or anti-al-Qaeda fighters visible on the streets.


    Imran Khan on the situation in Fallujah.
    Officials and witnesses in Fallujah told the Reuters news agency that the northern and eastern parts of the city were under the control of local tribesmen and the ISIL after residents fled to take refuge from the army shelling.

    ISIL has been tightening its grip in the Sunni-dominated desert province, near the Syrian border, in recent months in its effort to create an Islamic state across the Iraqi-Syrian borders.

    In Ramadi, the other main city in Anbar, local tribesmen and the Iraqi security forces have worked together to counter the ISIL.

    But in Fallujah, the Iraqi army has been prevented from entering by local Sunni tribesmen who, despite not supporting al-Qaeda fighters, are opposed to the Shia dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    Imran Khan, Al Jazeera’s Iraq correspondent, said: "The Iraqi army is on the outskirts of the town, negotiating with tribal leaders to go and fight the ISIL. They need cooperation from the leaders to go in and root out the militants.

    "The military had a base just outside, from where they were shelling the city. They have withdrawn from that base and the tribal leaders have moved in, claiming a victory, but it isn’t clear yet from the army if it was rather a tactical withdrawal."

    Fierce fighting

    More than 100 people were killed on Friday during fighting in Fallujah and Ramadi, one of the worst days since violence flared when Iraqi police broke up a Sunni protest camp in Anbar on Monday.

    The escalating tension shows the civil war in Syria, where mostly Sunni rebels are battling President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Shia Iran, is spilling over to other countries such as Iraq, threatening delicate sectarian balances.

    Iraq government loses control of Fallujah - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

    Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq seize much of Fallujah
     
  2. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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