Militants in Falluja say they will "punish" Iraqi government supporters
Monday, January 06, 2014 - 01:27
Jan. 6 - Militants who have seized the Iraqi city of Falluja say they will ''punish'' those supporting the government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, while plans for a military offensive are underway. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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Al Qaeda-linked militants who have seized the Iraqi city of Falluja say they will "punish" government supporters.
The so-called Fallujah Military Council read a statement, while brandishing guns and rocket propelled grenades.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF FALLUJA MILITARY COUNCIL, SAYING:
"The revolutionaries of our tribes in Falluja have resolved to punish the tribesmen who support the sectarian government forces, and to join the military council. The revolutionaries are also determined to shoulder the responsibility of foiling the filthy scheme run by government.''
Meanwhile, Prime Minister al-Maliki urged tribal leaders to drive out the insurgents, and pre-empt a military offensive.
A military convoy heads toward Anbar province, where militants have been tightening their grip. The militants' aim is to create a Sunni Muslim state straddling the border with Syria.
The Iraqi army vows to protect its country:
(SOUNDBITE) (ARABIC) LIEUTENANT HAIDER , IRAQI ARMY, SAYING:
"The tight measures that we take today are because of the situation in Anbar to avoid security deterioration or violence in Baghdad. God willing we are at the service of the people and we vow to protect the Homeland."
The White House said the U.S. is accelerating its military sales to Iraq to help fight al Qaeda.
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