ISIS in Syria.

Iraqi forces repel ISIS assault

US attacks 21 ISIS targets in Iraq, Syria over 24 hours as Shiite militias, army soldiers stop ISIS in fierce battle east of Ramadi.

Government forces and Shiite militiamen repelled two Islamic State group attacks in Anbar province on Saturday, officials said. In one attack, they used anti-tank missiles to stop four would-be suicide car bombers, officials said, as violence continues to roil the war-torn country.



Police and military officials said ISIS fighters attacked the government-held town of Husseiba with heavy mortar fire early Saturday. They say the attackers retreated after an hours-long battle, leaving behind three destroyed vehicles and five dead fighters. At least 10 troops and militiamen were wounded in the clash.


ISIS in Syria.
ISIS in Syria.


Iraqi forces took Husseiba, near the militant-held provincial capital of Ramadi, from ISIS last month.


The officials said that elsewhere in Anbar province, Iraqi troops using Russian anti-tank Kornet missiles destroyed four incoming suicide car bombs during an ISIS attack in the Tharthar area.


Meanwhile, the United States and its allies conducted 14 air strikes targeting Islamic State militants in Iraq since early on Friday and an additional seven in Syria, the Combined Joint Task Force carrying out the operations said on Saturday.


In Syria, air strikes using bombers, attack and fighter aircraft hit near al Hasaka and Kobani, it said in a statement. In Iraq, air strikes conducted using fighter and drone aircraft targeted areas near Baghdadi, Baiji, Habbaniyah, Haditha, Makhmur, Mosul, Sinjar and Tal Afar, it added.


The air strikes were conducted between 8 am local time on Friday and 8 am on Saturday.


An explosion in battles in Iraq's Anbar Province. (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
An explosion in battles in Iraq's Anbar Province. (Photo: AFP)


Iraqi forces, backed by Shiite militias, have been struggling to recapture areas lost to ISIS in Iraq's west and north. Last month the militant group scored a stunning victory, overrunning Ramadi and capturing large amounts of ammunition and armored vehicles from fleeing government troops.


In the aftermath of the Ramadi defeat, Iraqi officials have stepped up calls for more weapons and more direct support from the US and the international community.


During an international conference in Paris this week on the fight against the Islamic State group, a senior US official pledged to make it easier to get weapons, including US anti-tank rockets, to the Iraqi soldiers that need them.


Meanwhile, police said a bomb exploded at a commercial street in the Taji area, just north of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding five. Another bomb blast near several shops killed three people and wounded eight in the capital's southern suburbs.


On Saturday night, police officials said a car bomb attack near a busy market killed 14 people and wounded 37 others in the Shiite town of Balad Ruz, 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad. Several shops and cars were damaged in the attack. Police sealed off the blast area.


Medics in nearby hospitals confirmed the death toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.


Nobody claimed responsibility, but the Islamic State group, which controls large swaths of the country, frequently claims attacks targeting security forces and Shiite Muslims - who ISIS deems heretics.


Reuters contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 06.06.15, 21:18
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