Iraqi government airstrike kills 25 militants

Iraqi government airstrike kills 25 militants
Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:07:26

Iraq's Defense Ministry spokesman has said a government airstrike has killed 25 al-Qaeda militants in a besieged province west of Baghdad.

The strike comes amid fierce clashes between Iraqi Special Forces and insurgents in a battle for control of the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in al-Anbar province.

Gen. Mohammed al-Askari said the Iraqi air force struck the operations center for the terror network in the provincial capital of Ramadi, killing the 25 suspects inside.

He didn't give more details about how the death toll was confirmed but cited intelligence reports.

Violence erupted in Anbar on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an anti-government camp in the city of Ramadi. Iraqi authorities said the camp had been used as “headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda.”

The turmoil later spread to Fallujah and the militants moved in and seized the city as well as parts of Ramadi.

On January 22, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on the residents of the Anbar Province to “take a stand” against the anti-government militants.

Maliki has also blamed “diabolical” and “treacherous” Arab countries for the recent rise in violence in his country, saying, “Iraq is the target for some countries that are backing terrorism, and backing evil.”

In an address to the opening session of the Geneva II conference on the crisis in Syria on January 22, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the growing influence of al-Qaeda and other extremist militants in neighboring Syria is behind the violence in Iraq.


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