The Iraqi city of Fallujah, the site of some of the fiercest fighting between American forces and insurgents during the U.S.-led War in Iraq, has fallen to Al Qaeda-linked fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), who had been fighting Iraqi government forces.
From the BBC:
The Iraq government has lost control of the strategic city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, say officials and witnesses.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants now control the south of the city, a security source told the BBC. An Iraqi reporter there says tribesmen allied with al-Qaeda hold the rest of Fallujah.
Fighting there erupted after troops broke up a protest camp by Sunni Arabs in the city of Ramadi on Monday.
They have been accusing the Shia-led government of marginalising the Sunnis.
Today, it was reported that Iraqi forces launched air strikes against Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Ramadi, which like Fallujah is in Iraq's western Anbar province.
Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the U.S. will support the Iraqi government in their fight agains the Al Qaeda-linked fighters, but will not be sending troops.
From the Associated Press:
JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that America would support Iraq in its fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants who have overrun two cities in the country's west, but said the U.S. wouldn't send troops, calling the battle "their fight."
Kerry made the comments as he left Jerusalem for Jordan and Saudi Arabia to discuss his effort to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He's had three days of lengthy meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry said some progress was made in what he described as " very serious, very intensive conversations," but key hurdles are yet to be overcome.
Iraqi forces are reportedly preparing for a "major attack" on Fallujah.
Over ten years after the launch of the the War on Terror, which has cost trillions of dollars and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, Al Qaeda-linked fighters are now in control of a city less than 50 miles from Iraq's capital.
Read Reason.com's forum on the tenth anniversary of the War in Iraq here.