Breaking News Emails
BAGHDAD — ISIS fighters attacked a government complex in the heart of an Iraqi provincial capital on Friday, local officials said, in an apparently coordinated effort to seize full control of the city. Gunmen fired from rooftops at buildings in Ramadi housing the Anbar governorate offices and police headquarters, while security forces and tribal fighters tried to prevent the militants from advancing. "Mosques are asking anyone who can carry weapons to confront the attackers," provincial council member Hathal Fahdawi told Reuters.
Most of Ramadi and the surrounding Sunni Muslim province of Anbar is already held by ISIS. The loss of the city would be a major setback for government forces. Militants also launched coordinated attacks to the east and west of Ramadi, which is about 55 miles west of Baghdad. ISIS seized much of northern Iraq from the Shiite-led government in June, plunging Iraq into its worst security crisis since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. ISIS' rise in Iraq and Syria has raised concerns that its radical ideology will spread across the Middle East.