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Iraq forces withdraw from western towns: Spokesman

Published on Jun 22, 2014 7:38 PM
 
Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers scan the area as they holds  position overlooking Sunni militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on June 21, 2014 in the Iraqi village of Basheer. Iraqi forces have made a "tactical" withdrawal from three western towns, a security spokesman said on Sunday, on June 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi forces have made a "tactical" withdrawal from three western towns, a security spokesman said on Sunday, as Sunni militants widened an offensive that has already overrun swathes of territory.

"The military units' withdrawal (from Al-Qaim, Rawa and Ana) was for the purpose of redeployment," Lieutenant General Qassem Atta said, referring to it as a "tactical" move.

Witnesses said insurgents moved into Rawa and Ana, in Anbar province, on Saturday evening, after security officers and witnesses also reported militants entering Al-Qaim earlier in the day.

Anti-government fighters have held all of one city in Anbar and areas of a second since early January.

 
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