Armed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members have killed up to 50 soldiers and allied Shia fighters in two separate ambushes in Iraq’s Anbar province, according to a top provincial official.
The authorities said that today’s attack killed 17 soldiers and six Sunni militia fighters, and took place in the district of Jaramshah north of Anbar’s capital Ramadi.
“The advancing of our troops heading to liberate Ramadi from Islamic State is very slow due to the number of roadside bombs planted by the group and the number of suicide auto bombings it carries out every day”, said Sabah Karhout, head of Anbar provincial council, in a telephone interview. The Iraqi government and allied militia are attempting to wrest back control of the province from IS.
On Saturday, Khalid al-Obeidi, the Iraqi defence minister, toured the military’s northern command in Anbar, according to a statement issued by his office. During a meeting with troops there, he counselled that forces there must use “caution and precision” when advancing to avoid “unjustified losses”. Gen. Qassim al-Dulaimi, is lightly wounded.
Although he has not been named, the commander has been accused of failing to carry out his military duties.
ISIS controls about a third of Iraq, including much of Anbar.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, an official told the media revealed the extent of the deadly attack in a location where ISIS continue to dominate.
The dismissal was confirmed in an official statement: ‘There is no place for those who neglect to carry out their missions and duties.
No one knows if the minister’s visit and the firing of the commander were linked to the ambush that left at least 50 soldiers dead.