Islamist militants strengthen grip on Iraq's Falluja




 
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Islamist militants strengthen grip on Iraq's Falluja
 
January 18th, 2014  
News Manager
 

Topic: Islamist militants strengthen grip on Iraq's Falluja


Islamist militants strengthen grip on Iraq's Falluja
By Suadad al-Salhy BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Al Qaeda and other insurgent groups have tightened their grip on Falluja, defying the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government's efforts to persuade local tribesmen to expel them from the Sunni Muslim city, residents and officials say. Despite an army siege, fighters and weapons have been flowing into the city, where U.S. troops fought some of their fiercest battles during their 2003-11 occupation of Iraq. In an embarrassing setback for a state that has around a million men under arms, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its tribal allies overran Falluja and parts of the nearby city Ramadi on January 1. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, seeking a third term in a parliamentary election in April, deployed troops and tanks around the city of 300,000 and funneled weapons to anti-Qaeda tribesmen, but has ruled out a full-scale military assault.




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