Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iraqi Forces Kill Saudi Insurgent Commander In Anbar, As Residents Flee Fighting


Masked Sunni gunmen take positions with their weapons during clashes with Iraqi security forces outside the city of Fallujah on January 23.
BAGHDAD -- Iraqi security officials have announced the killing of a commander of the Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been holding territory in the western province of Anbar.

Security officials said Abu A'esha al-Saudi, described as a "minister" of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, had been killed.

He is described as a Saudi national.

Officials said three other Arab national insurgents also died in Anbar's Albu Farraj area.

The killing was announced on January 29 as security forces reported progress in the campaign to regain control of Albu Farraj, located outside the Anbar capital, Ramadi.

Security forces say they have completely surrounded militants who control Fallujah, but no decision has been made yet to attack insurgent positions inside the city.

In Ramadi, battles took place in the south of the city.

Residents told RFE/RL that civilians were killed and injured and homes badly damaged by artillery and mortar fire from security forces.

Defense Ministry spokesman Muhammad al-Askari said security forces had control of northern parts of Ramadi previously held by militants.

He said some snipers remained but dozens of gunmen had been killed.

In Fallujah, medical officials said seven people were killed and 23 others wounded in fighting, much of it in Al-Nuaimiya.

Anbar provincial officials say some 650,000 people have been displaced due to the conflict, which began one month ago.

With reporting by AFP