BEIRUT

Middle East

Iraq says air strikes 'kill 50 militants' in Anbar

Gunmen fighters walk with their weapons in the streets of the city of Ramadi, 100 km (62 miles) west of Baghdad, January 21, 2014. REUTERS/Ali al-Mashhadani

BAGHDAD: Air strikes against militant targets in Iraq's restive western province of Anbar killed at least 50 militants, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

Security forces "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 ministry statement said.

The militants included foreign fighters of Arab nationality, and large quantities of ammunition were destroyed, the statement said, without giving further information.

The strikes were the latest in a series of security operations targeting militant groups in Anbar in recent weeks.

Parts of provincial capital Ramadi and all of nearby Fallujah, near Baghdad, have been under the control of anti-government fighters for weeks, after unrest in the cities late last month.

Security forces have joined with pro-government tribal militias to try to retake the cities.

Anbar was a key stronghold of the Sunni insurgency following the 2003 US-led invasion, and American troops battling to retake Fallujah from insurgents in 2004 saw some of the heaviest fighting since the Vietnam War.

 

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