Iraq announces offensive against al Qaida
BAGHDAD (AP) -- An Iraqi military official says government forces and allied tribal militias have started an all-out offensive to push al-Qaida-linked militants from parts of a city west of Baghdad.
Since late December, members of an al-Qaida offshoot -- known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -- have taken over parts of Ramadi, the provincial capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. They also control the center of the nearby city of Fallujah, along with other non-al-Qaida groups that also oppose the Shiite-led government.
The officer said Sunday that fierce clashes were taking place, but gave no details.
The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information.