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Ramadi clashes video

Monday, January 06, 2014 - 00:32

Jan. 6 - Iraq's Defense Ministry footage shows scenes of fighting in Ramadi where Al Qaeda-linked militants have taken over some areas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Iraqi government forces battling an al Qaeda offensive near the Syrian border clashed with armed groups on Ramadi city on Sunday (January 5) as military operations continue to impose order in the western province of Anbar. Government officials in Anbar met tribal leaders to urge them to help repel al Qaeda-linked militants who have taken over parts of Ramadi and Falluja, strategic Iraqi cities on the Euphrates River. Al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been steadily tightening its grip in the vast Anbar province in recent months in a bid to create a Sunni Muslim state straddling the frontier with Syria. But last week's capture of positions in Ramadi and large parts of Falluja was the first time in years that Sunni insurgents had taken ground in the province's major cities and held their positions for days. Local officials and tribal leaders in Ramadi said that 25 suspected militants were killed in an air force strike launched by the Iraqi government, which targeted eastern areas of the city early on Sunday. In Falluja, ISIL's task has been made easier by disgruntled tribesmen who have joined its fight against the government. One option being considered to oust al Qaeda from Falluja would be for army units and tribal fighters to form a "belt" around the city, isolating it and cutting supply routes for militants, military and local officials said. They would also urge residents to leave the city. Tension has been running high across Anbar - which borders Syria and was the heart of Iraq's Sunni insurgency after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion - since Iraqi police broke up a Sunni protest last week, resulting in deadly clashes. Talks between Iraqi government officials and tribes made little headway on Sunday, with some tribal leaders hesitant to negotiate at all and others afraid of opposing al Qaeda, which has carried out numerous bombings and assassinations in Iraq.

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Ramadi clashes video

Monday, January 06, 2014 - 00:32