Daesh launches counterattacks in western Iraq to divert troops from Fallujah

Published June 1st, 2016 - 11:00 GMT
Iraqi security forces attempt to rest after clashes with Daesh outside of Fallujah. (AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)
Iraqi security forces attempt to rest after clashes with Daesh outside of Fallujah. (AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)

Daesh launched an attack Wednesday on a town in western Iraq in an attempt to divert military attention away from its offensive in the city of Fallujah, the Iraqi army said.

The militants used would-be suicide bombers and car bombs in their assault on Kabisa, roughly 140 kilometres west of Fallujah, according to a government military official.

"Battles are under way between Iraqi troops and [Islamic State], leaving six soldiers dead," said the official, speaking anonymously.

An unspecified number of extremists were killed and injured in the fight, he added.

Iraqi government troops, backed by a US-led air alliance, are currently pushing into Fallujah, which has been under Daesh control for more than two years.

In the past few days, Daesh has carried out several counterattacks in western Iraq after government forces started late last month the long-delayed onslaught on Fallujah, 50 kilometres west of the country's capital, Baghdad.

Fallujah was one of the first major cities in Iraq to fall to Daesh in early 2014, when the group took advantage of local fury over a deadly crackdown on Sunni protests ordered by Shia Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Six months later, the radical Sunni group stormed through Sunni areas of northern Iraq, taking the country's second-largest northern city, Mosul, as military units fled. Daesh still controls Mosul.
 
By Marwa al-A'sar and Muhammad al-Badrani
 
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the original. 

© 2021 dpa GmbH

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