Arwa Damon: ISIS forces, it seems, early this morning managing to enter the outskirts of the city of Ramadi from the east. This now means that ISIS is fighting on the east. ISIS advanced from the north -- taking over three towns from the outskirts there over the weekend. The routes to the south already blocked off. The city basically under siege except for the western portion that is still controlled by forces, by government forces, but that is wavering as well.
Iraqi Spring MC notes this takes place as calls for reinforcements of government troops to be sent to . . . Baiji.
That's in northern Iraq, Salahuddin Province. These reinforcements are being sent in to protect . . . Well, not people. There are people in Ramadi who need protection. But the government forces going to Baiji are going to protect an oil refinery.
Saif Hameed, Isabel Coles and Giles Elgood (Reuters) explain:
The new Anbar campaign was intended to build on a victory in the city of Tikrit, which Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite paramilitaries retook this month.
But the Sunni jihadists have struck back in Anbar as well as Baiji, where they blasted through the security perimeter around Iraq's largest refinery several days ago.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Spring MC reports, just to the east of Ramadi, 3 Sahwa have been killed by the Islamic State today.
Also today in Anbar Province, Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports, "In Soufiya, the militants bombed a police station and took over a power plant. The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing for their own safety, said airstrikes were trying to back up Iraqi troops. Iraqi security officials could not immediately be reached for comment."
Yesterday at the White House, US President Barack Obama stood next to Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and declared, "Thanks to his leadership, as well as the partnership and sacrifices made by over 60 members of an international coalition, we are making serious progress in pushing back ISIL out of Iraqi territory. About a quarter of the territory fallen under Daesh control has been recovered. "
Iraq doesn't like braggarts.
It never has.
And anytime some US official starts a wave of Operation Happy Talk, events usually slap the official upside the head.
Today's news is a big 'owie' for Barack.
The embarrassment comes as another bit of embarrassing news leaks out: Barack gave away the goodies ("just like his mother," said one State Dept friend this morning on the phone to me).
He's moving forward with delivering F-16s to Iraq.
Apparently to grease the path to a deal with Iran.
Because giving Iraq any US military technology is giving it to Iran. A point we've made since before 2009 -- our objection on this pre-dates Barack's presidency.
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