Anbar offensive starts amid multiple Iraq bomb blasts

Bombs kill 32 as Iraqi forces launch offensive to dislodge ISIL and secure supply route in contested Anbar province.

    Iraq's Shia-led government forces were driven out of Anbar's provincial capital Ramadi in May [AP]
    Iraq's Shia-led government forces were driven out of Anbar's provincial capital Ramadi in May [AP]

    Iraqi security forces and Sunni tribal fighters have launched an offensive to dislodge Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group fighters and secure a supply route in Anbar province, police and tribal sources said.

    The offensive came as bomb attacks claimed across the country killed at least 32 people - just days after an ISIL attack in the eastern province of Diyala, left more than 100 people dead.

    The deadliest attack on Tuesday occurred when a car packed with explosives was detonated in the mainly Shia district of New Baghdad in northeastern Baghdad, killing 16 people and wounding 48.

    The pro-government offensive tackled ISIL near the western outpost of Haditha in a bid to secure a route to the nearby Ain al-Asad military base.

    Residents of Anbar town brave constant ISIL threat

    Haditha and its nearby dam are in one of the few parts of the Sunni Muslim province of Anbar still under the control of Iraq's Shia-led government forces, who were driven out of the provincial capital Ramadi in May.

    The offensive started with army and police forces backed by Sunni tribal fighters attacking the Albu Hayat area, 20km southeast of Haditha, police and tribal sources told the Reuters news agency.

    ISIL fighters have used the area to strike the supply route to Ain al-Asad where US Marines are training Iraqi troops.

    RELATED: Residents angry over bombing in Iraq's Diyala province

    "We are attacking Daesh from three directions and we will not retreat until retaking Albu Hayat to secure not only Haditha but the supply route to the base," said Sunni tribal leader Khalid Mijbil al-Nimrawi, using another term for ISIL.

    Elsewhere, at least six soldiers and policemen were killed in a suicide attack at a checkpoint in the central town of Tarmiya, about 25km north of Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

    Another eight people were killed and 16 wounded when a car bomb went off in a busy commercial street in Mandali, a predominately Kurdish Shia town about 100km northeast of Baghdad.

    No group immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.

    Deadly Diyala blast

    Meanwhile, in Diyala province's Khan Bani Saad, the location of Friday's deadly bomb attack which killed more than 100, residents told Al Jazeera that they have lost faith in the government.

    "No one cares what happened here. Our government haven't even visited here. Even [US] President Obama has sent condolences. No one cares," resident Hamid al-Moussa said.

    Khan Bani Saad Mayor Abbas Hadi Dulaimi said local authorities needed supplies to help fend off ISIL.

    "We need more of everything to protect ourselves. More bomb detecting equipment, more cameras. More local police and soldiers who know the area and can protect us against ISIL," he said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Reuters


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