RAMADI, Nov 22 – ISIS militants are fighting Iraqi military and tribal forces close to the main government complex of Anbar province in the center of Ramadi, according to a local official there. The fighting started Friday after ISIS militants launched a coordinated assault from different direction around the city, according to Faleh al-Issawi, deputy head of the provincial council.
The battle is taking place about 1,000 feet from the complex that houses the local government and security headquarters. “If the government complex falls, it would mean the fall of the whole province,” Al-Issawi told CNN. The bodies of 23 tribesmen and 12 ISIS militants were found after Friday’s fighting, Al-Issawi said. The police chief of al-Habaniya, outside Ramadi, and three of his guards were killed during Friday’s fighting, according to Al-Issawi.
Most of the Sunni-dominated province and some parts of Ramadi have been under the control of ISIS, and the militants have been making recent advances despite coalition airstrikes targeting them. The United States conducted two airstrikes near Ramadi on Friday, according to U.S. Central Command. Three weeks ago, Pentagon officials said they plan to deploy U.S. military advisers to Anbar to advise and assist Iraqi security forces there.