ISIS captures Husseiba town of Iraq's Anbar province

ISIS seized a small town in Iraq’s Anbar province, Husseiba, as police and tribal fighters withdrew after running out of ammunition

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

ISIS have taken Husseiba town in the Anbar province of Iraq, AP has reported.

Sheikh Rafie al-Fahdawi said that the small town of Husseiba fell overnight on Friday. He says police and tribal fighters withdrew after running out of ammunition.

Husseiba is about seven kilometers (four miles) east of Ramadi, where ISIS militants routed Iraqi forces in their most significant advance in nearly a year. It remains on the northern side of Habbaniyah lake which is only 30 kilometers to Fallujah.

After Iraqi forces puIled away, ISIS militants seized the al-Walid crossing which is a key border with Syria. ISIS will have an advantage to shuttle weapons and reinforcements more easily across the Syrian-Iraqi border through the al-Walid crossing.

Last week, the US reluctantly approved the deployment of Hashd al-Shaabi fighters to take back Ramadi from ISIS, despite warnings from US lawmakers of an increase sectarian violence due to the involvement of the Iran-backed Shiite fighters.

"The militias have a part to play in this. As long as they are controlled by the central Iraqi government, then they will participate," Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters on Monday.

Warren added that the urban environment of the city “limits the ability of air-power, so it creates unique challenges.”

US officials said that Washington was deeply divided due to the involvement of Shiite militias links with Iran, a US rival that has been expanding its influence throughout the Middle East. 

After spearheading the recapture of Tikrit, some Shiite fighters last month went on a spree of burning, looting, and violence in the Sunni Iraqi city, according to local residents.

The presence of the militias could however fuel sectarian tensions in the Sunni province, where anger at the Shiite-led government runs deep. 

TRTWorld and agencies