Just few days after capturing Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, the Islamic State militants launched an assault on another nearby town, but were thwarted by Iraqi troops and allied Sunni tribal fighters, reports said Tuesday.
The ISIS attacked the town of Khaldiya which is situated between militant-held Fallujah and Ramadi, shortly before midnight, but failed to capture the town and could take just a village, a tribal leader told a news agency.
Sheikh Rafie al-Fahdawi added that troops or tribal fighters were killed in the clashes.
Earlier, expecting further assault by the ISIS, Iraqi PM had ordered the security forces not to abandon their positions in Anbar province.
The ISIS offensive comes just days after it took over the key Iraqi city of Ramadi as Iraqi forces reportedly fled the area, leaving behind vehicles and weapons.
The ISIS used a series of suicide car bombings and staged mass killings of not only soldiers but Iraqi civilians. Some 500 (including civilians) have been reportedly killed and 8000 were forced to flee, a spokesperson for the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province told a news agency.
“We estimate that 500 people have been killed, both civilians and military, and approximately 8,000 have fled the city.”
After Ramadi, ISIS seeks to extend gains and continues to launch offensives to close in on the capital Baghdad.