Iraqi Troops Repel ISIS Attack

 

Government forces and Shiite militiamen repelled two Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group attacks in Anbar province on Saturday, officials said. In one attack, they used anti-tank missiles to stop four would-be suicide car bombers.

Police and military officials said ISIS fighters attacked the government-held town of Husseiba with heavy mortar fire early Saturday. They say the attackers retreated after an hours-long battle, leaving behind three destroyed vehicles and five dead fighters. At least 10 troops and militiamen were wounded in the clash.

Iraqi forces took Husseiba, near the militant-held provincial capital of Ramadi, from the ISIS group last month.

The officials said that elsewhere in Anbar province, Iraqi troops using Russian anti-tank Kornet missiles destroyed four incoming suicide car bombs during an ISIS attack in the Tharthar area.

Iraqi forces, backed by Shiite militias, have been struggling to recapture areas lost to the ISIS group in the country’s west and north. Last month the militant group scored a stunning victory, overrunning Ramadi and capturing large amounts of ammunition and armored vehicles from fleeing government troops.

Iraqi security forces defend their headquarters against attacks by Islamic State extremists in the eastern part of Ramadi in Anbar province, May 14, 2015. Islamic State militants raised their black flag over the provincial government compound in the city of Ramadi in western Iraq on Friday, a Reuters witness said. The insurgents attacked Ramadi overnight using six suicide car bombs to reach the city centre, where the Anbar governorate compound is located, police sources said. Picture taken May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Iraqi security forces defend their headquarters against attacks by Islamic State extremists in the eastern part of Ramadi in Anbar province, May 14, 2015. Islamic State militants raised their black flag over the provincial government compound in the city of Ramadi in western Iraq on Friday, a Reuters witness said. The insurgents attacked Ramadi overnight using six suicide car bombs to reach the city centre, where the Anbar governorate compound is located, police sources said. Picture taken May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

In the aftermath of the Ramadi defeat, Iraqi officials have stepped up calls for more weapons and more direct support from the U.S. and the international community.

During an international conference in Paris this week on the fight against ISIS, a senior U.S. official pledged to make it easier to get weapons, including U.S. anti-tank rockets, to the Iraqi soldiers that need them.

Meanwhile, police said a bomb exploded at a commercial street in the Taji area, just north of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding five. Another bomb blast near several shops killed three people and wounded eight in the capital’s southern suburbs.

Medical officials confirmed the death toll. All officials in Baghdad and Anbar spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Iraq sees near-daily bombings frequently claimed by ISIS, which seized large parts of the country during a stunning blitz last year.

 

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