A burned army truck looks over a hill as a gunman guards after clashes with Iraqi security forces on the outskirts of Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Lt. Gen. Rasheed Fleih, who leads the Anbar Military Command, told the state television Sunday that “two to three days” are needed to push the militants out of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi. (AP Photo)
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi military tried to dislodge al-Qaida militants in Sunni-dominated Anbar province Sunday, unleashing airstrikes and besieging the regional capital in fighting that killed at least 34 people, officials said. A series of bombs in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, meanwhile, killed at least 20 people.
The recent gains by the insurgents have been a blow to the Shiite-led government — as sectarian violence has escalated since the U.S. withdrawal. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was “very, very concerned” by the fighting but would not send in American troops.
Video of the airstrikes in Anbar — apparently taken by aircraft at night — was released by Iraq’s Defense Ministry showing al-Qaida hideouts being bombarded. It showed men gathered around a vehicle, then running away as the site was struck.
A ministry statement said the air force struck a militants’ hideout overnight, identifying them as belonging to the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which the government refers to as “terrorists.”
The army and allied tribesmen also fought al-Qaida militants around the Login to read more