Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi meets with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington April 15, 2015. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
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ISIS fighters launched an offensive Wednesday in Iraq's western Anbar province, capturing three villages near the provincial capital of Ramadi in the most significant threat to the city by the militants to date.The U.S.-led coalition providing support to Iraqi forces said it conducted 16 airstrikes in the Beiji area from Monday to early Wednesday, while other airstrikes targeted areas of Anbar province.In Washington, one day after his meeting with President Barack Obama, Abadi made no mention of the events in Ramadi. He spoke optimistically of gaining Sunni tribal fighter participation in the government's offensive, saying about 5,000 tribal fighters in Anbar had signed up and received light weapons. Those Sunnis are working "hand-in-hand" with Iraqi security forces, Abadi said. As an example of this, he said he recently visited Habaniyah in Anbar province and walked among 1,500 armed Sunni tribal fighters.
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