ISIL attacks kill 47 Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi
Suicide bombers hit Iraqi convoys northwest of Anbar’s provincial capital, hours after ISIL attacked military barracks.
At least 47 Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a series of attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters near the strategic city of Ramadi, military sources said.
The first attack took place overnight on the headquarters of the 3rd rapid deployment force and other military barracks in the villages of Qutainiyah and Zuwaiyah, near Zankurah town, the sources told Al Jazeera on Monday morning.
OPINION: Iraq – Beware the liberation of Mosul
On Monday afternoon, two separate ISIL suicide car bombers struck Iraqi Security Force convoys in the villages of Safiyrah and Abu Taiban, about 30km northwest of Ramadi.
At least 25 soldiers were killed and another 20 were injured in the twin attacks.
Iraqi forces declared victory over ISIL in Ramadi in late December and have since cleared most of the western city.
Meanwhile, Kurdish officers in northern Iraq claimed to have taken into custody an American fighting for ISIL.
Two officers who arrested him said it appeared the man was intending to escape both ISIL and Kurdish forces but handed himself in after peshmerga soldiers opened fire on him in the village of Golat.
Captain Daham Khalaf said they had spotted the fighter hiding in long grass around dawn and waited until the sun rose before surrounding him.
“He shouted ‘I am a foreigner’,” Khalaf said, describing him as bearded and dressed in black.
The fighter did not have a passport but was carrying a US driving licence and spoke English and broken Arabic, according to General Hashim Sitei who spoke to him.
“We are in touch with Iraqi and Kurdish authorities to determine the veracity of these reports,” a State Department official in Washington said.