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Anbar Sunnis ask for help

31 Aug, 2014

Sunni tribes in Anbar province west of Baghdad say a final showdown with ISIS is inevitable and that success depends on government support. Provincial council head Sabah Karhout says 25 Sunni tribes are ready to fight but they want weapons, ammunition and money, and guarantees from Baghdad that they won’t face reprisals:

If [the government] does not equip the tribes and form a local armed force in [the Sunni areas controlled by Islamic State fighters], the battle will not end.

ISIS is making gains in the province after government forces are drawn down, and taking Ramadi would give it complete control. A senior local official:

Ramadi now is totally surrounded by the militants. The insurgents are nibbling the areas, one by one, like a scorpion. They are crawling towards the centre of Ramadi.

A security advisor to al-Maliki says federal troops stationed at the centre of Ramadi and the nearby town of Haditha are under-trained and under-equipped, and a third of those around Ramadi have been withdrawn to Baghdad:

Our regular troops which are deployed now in Anbar are not trained to be involved in guerilla fighting. They are able to [hold their positions on] the ground and defend themselves, no more.