ISIS seizes town in Iraq’s Anbar

Displaced Sunni people fleeing the violence in the city of Ramadi arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad, May 16, 2015. (Reuters)

A tribal leader says ISIS militants have seized another town in Iraq’s western Anbar province, less than a week after capturing the provincial capital, Ramadi.

Sheikh Rafie al-Fahdawi said Friday that the small town of Husseiba fell overnight. He says police and tribal fighters withdrew after running out of ammunition.

Husseiba is about seven kilometers east of Ramadi, where ISIS militants routed Iraqi forces in their most significant advance in nearly a year.

The Iraqi government plans to launch a counteroffensive in Anbar involving Iranian-backed Shiite militias, which have played a key role in rolling back ISIS elsewhere in the country. The presence of the militias could however fuel sectarian tensions in the Sunni province, where anger at the Shiite-led government runs deep.

The capture comes on the back of the seizure of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra this week as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced its estimate that ISIS now controls more than half of Syria’s territory.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46