People leave their hometown Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 16, 2015. (AP Photo)
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More than 2,000 families have fled from the Iraqi city of Ramadi, an official said Thursday, as ISIS militants advanced on the provincial capital of the western Anbar province, clashing with Iraqi troops.The advance is widely seen as a counteroffensive after the ISIS group lost the city of Tikrit earlier this month.Anbar's Deputy Governor Faleh al-Issawi described the situation unfolding in Ramadi as "catastrophic" and urged the central government to send reinforcements.Al-Bayan, the English-language radio station of ISIS, claimed the fighters were in complete control of at least six areas and most of a seventh to the east of Ramadi since Wednesday, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. group that monitors militant websites.He said he had received assurances that a number of F16 planes would be delivered on time.He also said two Iraqi brigades were to start training to retake Anbar province and would need heavy weapons for the fight, adding in Arabic that the U.S. administration appeared to be "cooperative".
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