BEIRUT

Middle East

Official: Al-Qaeda has enough arms to take Baghdad

  • Vehicles drive as smoke billows above buildings after gunmen allegedly targeted a vehicle of the Iraqi army carrying fuel on January 20, 2014 in the area of Ali Bofraj, north of the Iraqi city of Ramadi. AFP PHOTO AZHAR SHALLAL

BAGHDAD: A senior Iraqi official claims Al-Qaeda fighters hunkered down in a city they seized late last month west of Baghdad have enough heavy weapons to allegedly take the country's capital.

Senior deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi said Monday that Iraqi forces are fighting "fierce battles" against heavily armed militants to recapture parts of Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar province, and also the nearby city of Fallujah.

He says the weapons in Fallujah that are in the hands of Iraq's Al-Qaeda branch and other Sunni militant groups battling the Shiite-led government are "advanced and huge and enough to occupy Baghdad."

He didn't elaborate on the type or quantity of the weapons.

Iraq's government announced on Sunday an all-out military operation to push Al-Qaeda out of Ramadi.

 
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