Govt airstrikes in Iraq's Anbar kill 50 while Obama meets with MPs on Sunni integration
At least 50 militants were killed in Iraq's Anbar Wednesday while U.S. President Obama met with Iraqi parliamentarians to discuss Sunni leadership integration into the government, according to various agencies.
Agence France Presse reported that Iraqi security authorities "received accurate information and carried out painful and effective air strikes against terrorist gatherings in Anbar yesterday, January 21, that killed more than 50 terrorists."
A large amount of ammunition was destroyed in the strikes and some foreign fighter militants were also killed, according to the Ministry of Defense.
The Iraqi government has been trying to regain control of Anbar in recent weeks vis-a-vis targeting militant groups how took control of parts of the province earlier this year, including part of the provincial capital of Ramadi and the entire city of Fallujah.
While the government launched attacks on the primarily Sunni populated province, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Iraqi parliamentarians on the issue of Sunni tensions with the government in a bid to encourage MPs to integrate more Sunni tribal leaders into the governing fold, according to Al-Arabiya.
“The President encouraged Iraq’s leaders to continue dialogue to address the legitimate grievances of all communities through the political process,” AFP quoted the White House in a statement.
Obama met with the Sunni speaker of Iraq's parliament, Osama Al Nujaifi, to discuss greater Sunni integration into both the government and military, and further added that Washington will continue to "help Iraq quell Al Qaeda upsurge[s]."
“Both sides agreed on the need for both security and political measures to combat terrorism, and discussed efforts to formally integrate local and tribal forces into the state security structures consistent with the Government of Iraq’s public commitments in recent days,” a statement from the White House read.fcgarehbtrw