ISIS Has Captured al-Asad Air Base Where 300 U.S. Marines Could Be Trapped

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Via Reuters

What we know at the moment is that ISIS  has seized control of the al-Asad air base in the Ramadi area of Iraq. According to multiple reports the Iraqi army has lost contact with its people inside the base. From what we can tell the 300 Marines are on location to train Iraqi military.

The Pentagon is pushing back on these initial reports about al-Asad. According to the Pentagon ISIS is initiating attacks against the base, but the heaviest fighting is happening approximately 5-10 miles away in al-Baghdadi.

A Reuters report on the situation claims the heavy fighting in al-Baghdadi is much more significant than the Pentagon is letting be known. In fact, Reuters says al-Baghdadi is now in complete control of ISIS. The same report references claims from intelligence sources that say al-Asad has been attacked but so far the attack was unsuccessful.

Islamic State insurgents took control on Thursday of most of the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, threatening an air base where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops, officials said.

Al-Baghdadi, about 85 km (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province, had been besieged for months by the radical Sunni Islamist militants who captured vast swathes of Iraq’s north and west last year.

“Ninety percent of al-Baghdadi district has fallen under the control of the insurgents,” district manager Naji Arak told Reuters by phone.

Militants attacked al-Baghdadi from two directions earlier in the day and then advanced on the town, intelligence sources and officials in the Jazeera and Badiya operations commands said.

The officials said another group of insurgents then attacked the heavily-guarded Ain al-Asad air base five km southwest of the town, but were unable to break into it.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/13/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-anbar-idUSKBN0LG23120150213

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