On Sunday, combative militants tightened their hold on western Iraq when there was a withdrawal of security from some towns in the province of Anbar, near Baghdad. This news of security forces withdrawing from a few towns in Anbar led to questions if the government of Nuri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq is giving up on the province.
Views of Iraqi Religious leader
In the meanwhile, on the same day, the religious leader of Iran damned any involvement of America in Iraq. stating that the government of al-Maliki is capable of dealing with its own issues.
According to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this scenario is being portrayed as a sectarian fight by the United States. However, the actual situation in Iraq is not a disparity between the Sunnis and Shiite. He attributed the consistent attacks faced by Iraq to the leftovers of the Saddam Hussein rule as well as the extremists.
According to John Kerry, US Secretary of State, the United States is ready to help make the al-Maliki government of Iraq rise above the ‘sectarian’ issues to become more accepting and supportive of its entire population.
Getting closer to Baghdad
The ISIS forces advanced towards Baghdad from the western and northern regions. According to security officials of Iraq, Tal Afar was taken over by militants last week. However, by Sunday; the air-base was also completely captured by them. Several thousand families of Shiite Turkmen left the town following the ISIS attacks.
The town of Rutba, which lies to the west of Anbar, and approximately 70 miles away from the borders of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, was captured by the ISIS forces. With the capture of Qaim, which lies next to Syria on the border, where there is an existing stronghold of ISIS along with several other towns in Anbar, there is a direct way open for the fighters to the western periphery of Baghdad.
ISIS now controls almost 70 percent of the province. Haditha (160 miles to the north of Baghdad) is no longer under the protection of the Iraqi forces. The region is now under the security of the Sunni tribes who are on good terms with the army in Iraq. However, according to officials, the town will be taken over by the ISIS fighters. The biggest hydroelectric unit in Anbar is located in Haditha and is a crucial town for water supply.