Ramadi battles foreshadow bloody campaign for Anbar

As Iraqi leaders prepare a major operation to retake Anbar province, IS fighters overrun security forces in northern Ramadi.
An Iraqi soldier shoots his weapon during clashes with Islamic State militants in the Karma district of Anbar province, March 22, 2015. (STRINGER/Reuters)

BAGHDAD - The Islamic State (IS) militant group has launched a sustained offensive against pro-government forces in Ramadi, even as Iraqi leaders plan a major operation to reassert control over Anbar province.

The five-pronged attack began Thursday evening, with IS fighters using a combination of suicide bombings, mortars, and small arms. Security forces repelled that first wave, but then on Friday morning, in the Albu Faraj area of northern Ramadi, they were overrun – and as of Friday evening, militants continued to hold the area.

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