Iraq gives up town to Islamic State

IS rebels seize centre of city, troops move to new base
Baghdad: Iraqi government troops stationed on the edge of Heet in beleaguered Anbar province have withdrawn to another base, leaving the city under full jihadist control, security sources said on Monday.
Islamic State fighters had assaulted and eventually seized the centre of the western city on the Euphrates river, but a sizeable contingent of government forces remained holed up in a nearby base.
“Our military leaders argued that instead of leaving those forces exposed to attacks by IS, they would be best used to shore up the defence of Asad air base,” Ramadi police, capital of Anbar province, said.
Ahmed Hamid, who heads the Anbar provincial council’s security committee, said around 300 members of the security forces pulled out of the Heet training academy a few kilometres northwest of the city.
Asad is a large base northwest of Heet and one of the last still under government control in the restive western province. It is surrounded by desert and a tougher target for IS fighters.
Other security officials said military aircraft picked up senior officers from the Heet base, and the rest of the force drove in a convoy to Asad.
Government forces have suffered a string of setbacks in Anbar in recent weeks, and officials have warned that their grip on the capital Ramadi was increasingly tenuous.
IS boasts of Yazidis in slavery:
The IS jihadist group says that it has given Yazidi women and children captured in northern Iraq to its fighters as spoils of war, boasting it had revived slavery.
Propaganda magazine Dabiq admitted that it was holding and selling thousands of Yazidis as slaves.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis, a minority whose population is mostly confined to northern Iraq, have been displaced by the jihadist offensive.
“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations,” the Dabiq article said.
Turkey allows U.S. to uses Base in I.S. fight:
Turkey agreed to let Washington use its air bases for the campaign against Islamic State jihadists as Kurdish fighters kept up their battle Monday to defend the flashpoint town of Kobane.
Under a deal announced by the US, Turkey will also host training for “moderate” Syrian rebels, in the hopes of finally creating a force capable of tackling IS on the ground.
In Kobane, Kurdish militia were reported to have launched a counter-offensive against IS jihadists overnight but were battling to defend a key post on Turkey’s border with Syria.
( Source : AFP )
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