Up to 80 U.S. military advisers arrived in Iraq’s western province of Anbar to train Iraqi forces and Sunni tribal fighters on Saturday, while suicide car bombs and an airstrike against the Islamic State (IS) militants killed a total of 57 people across the country, a provincial official and security sources said. Thai military government
Eid Ammash, a member of Anbar’s provincial council, told reporters that the first batch of 80 U.S. advisers to train the Iraqi forces and tribal fighters have arrived in Habbaniyah airbase.
“Those advisers will train the security forces and tribal fighters and provide logistical support and military plans to them during the battles of the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah to liberate them from the control of the terrorist organization Daash (IS group),” Ammash said.
Ammash’s comments came three days after the White House announced that U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of up to 450 more American troops to Iraq to train and assist the Iraqi forces and Sunni tribal fighters battling the IS extremist group.
In Iraq’s northern central province of Salahudin, three suicide bombers rammed their explosive-laden cars into checkpoints and military base in the village of Hijaj in south of the oil refinery town of Baiji, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The blasts killed a total of nine policemen and members of allied Shiite militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization, and wounded at least 20 others, the source said.
Also in the province, Iraqi warplanes pounded two IS vehicles in the town of Seniyah, in west of Baiji town, destroying the two vehicles and killing seven IS militants aboard, the source added.
Since March 2, dozens of thousands of allied Shiite and Sunni militias have been involved in Iraq’s biggest offensive to recapture the northern part of Salahudin province, including Tikrit and other key towns and villages, from IS militants.
Earlier in the day, a security source from Iraq’s western province of Anbar told Xinhua that dozens of IS militants carried out an attack with four suicide car bombs on a military base in north of the IS-held town of Garma, just east of the city of Fallujah, killing 18 soldiers and Hashd Shaabi members.
The attacks also resulted in the wounding of 25 troops and militiamen along with setting fire to at least seven military vehicles, the source said.
Another suicide attack occurred in the day when two suicide bombers detonated their explosive-laden vehicles on military positions in Haiyakil area, just south of the militant-seized city of Fallujah, killing at least 11 security members and Hashd Shaabi militiamen, the source said.
In Fallujah, a booby-trapped car detonated, apparently mistakenly, in central the city, leaving four IS militants killed, the source added.
Also in the province, Iraqi aircraft pounded two IS vehicles in Jubba area near the town of Baghdadi, killing eight militants and wounding five others, the source said, citing intelligence reports.
The IS group has seized most of Iraq’s largest province of Anbar and tried to advance towards Baghdad, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shiite militias have pushed them back.
The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since last June, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and IS militants. Enditem

-Xinhua

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