The Anbar crisis is today entering its sixth month.
Yesterday, suicide bombers detonated their vests at the Al-Bu'abaid police command HQ on Al-Khalidiya Island; gunmen were attempting to seize the post amid the eruption of heavy clashes resulting in the capture and arrest of 4 of the attacking gunmen, while 2 others were killed. The army sent in reinforcements to the area.
Fierce clashes also erupted in Al-Kubaisa, a township southwest of Hit in western Anbar, when gunmen launched an attack aimed at capturing the town. The local police, supported by army personnel, responded quickly; the gunmen then withdrew to an unknown destination after a gunfight that lasted about 30 minutes.
In Fallujah, local police supported by tribal forces and army units tried to enter Al-Saqlawiya, southwest of the city, where they clashed with groups of gunmen; the security forces are affirming that they are now in control of the area.
In Fallujah itself, the Al-Maftoul crossing - the only access point into or out of the city - was closed today. Meanwhile, indiscriminate shelling continued through last night and into noontime today. At least 3 persons were killed and 7 were wounded by the shelling. Local and international relief organizations are providing aid while trying to evacuate the remaining civilians from the city, in response to reports of an imminent military thrust into the city within the next few days.
The Anbar Governorate Council has stressed that there will not be an assault on Fallujah, and arrangements are still being made for convening the conference on the Anbar situation in