Sunday, June 22, 2014

22 June 2014

Iraqi army units have withdrawn from the westernmost border crossing in Anbar. Syrian air force planes launched air attacks at several gunmen positions in the no-man's-land along the road between Iraq and Syria, at Al-Waleed.

Meanwhile, the towns of Ana, Rawa, and Al-Qai'm are now completely in the gunmen's hands. This morning, Rutba awoke to find that the military units there have withdrawn, leaving the gunmen in control of all the town's vital installations. Observers are now estimating that about 80% of Anbar governorate is under the control of the gunmen. However in Hit and Haditha townships, where the tribal Awakenings are active, more than 5,000 tribal fighters took part in a military parade in the townships.

In Ramadi, there have been intermittent clashes in the area around Anbar University and the western sector of the city.

In Fallujah, the city is still surrounded but gunmen who had seized control of the Al-Maftoul crossing have now removed all the concrete barricades, allowing a significant number of residents to return to their homes even though their residential districts are still being randomly shelled. The casualty figures for yesterday and up to noontime today show that at least 4 residents have been killed and 11 have been wounded by the resumption of the shelling of a number of the city's districts.

Speculation is continuing about the ability of the gunmen to seize control of the whole governorate, that would threaten imminent military operations along the administrative boundary between Anbar and Baghdad Governorate, given that the Al-Garma and Fallujah junction is no more than 60 km from the capital.

Political activity is still seeking a way out of the crisis, but it is difficult to foresee the effect of the events in Salahuddin, Mosul, Kirkuk, and Diyala, given that the gunmen are using their vehicles to maintain control of the roads in the areas between Anbar, Nineveh, and, Salahuddin.

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