Al-Qaida group takes control in Fallujah
The Associated Press reports the city center of Fallujah is now under the control of fighters from the al-Qaida-linked group, Islamic State in Iraq and Levant.
The news agency cited Hadi Razeij, head of Iraq’s Anbar province police force, who said police had left the city center and are positioned on the edge of town.
The U.S. is “following events in Iraq’s Anbar province very closely” and remains “concerned by efforts of the terrorist Al Qaida/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to assert its authority in Syria as well as Iraq,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a press statement Saturday.
“Their barbarism against civilians of Ramadi and Fallujah and against Iraqi Security Forces is on display for all to see,” she said.
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham also released a joint statement blaming the Obama administration’s policies in part for the situation in Fallujah.
“Reports that Al-Qaeda fighters have taken over Fallujah and are gaining ground in other parts of Iraq are as tragic as they were predictable,” the statement said. “While many Iraqis are responsible for this strategic disaster, the Administration cannot escape its share of the blame.”
Learn more about al-Qaida in Iraq by reading a Council on Foreign Relations primer on the group.