Iraqi forces move to Anbar frontline as anti-IS fightback nears

An Iraqi fighter from the Shiite Muslim Al-Abbas popular mobilisation unit, pictured near the village of Nukhayb in the embattled Anbar province, on May 19, 2015Iraqi forces retook territory from the Islamic State jihadist group east of Ramadi on Saturday, commanders said, in their first counterattack since Anbar's provincial capital fell a week ago. A mosaic of anti-IS forces had for days been massing in the Euphrates Valley to ready for an offensive aimed at turning the tide on rampant jihadists. The May 17 takeover of Ramadi was Baghdad's worst defeat in almost a year while the capture three days later of the Syrian city of Palmyra positioned IS for a possible drive on Damascus.


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