IS Seizes Key Iraqi City

IS Seizes Key Iraqi CityIS Seizes Key Iraqi City

Islamic State militants made key gains Friday, seizing a government compound in the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi hours after allegedly massacring dozens of civilians as they closed in on Syria’s ancient metropolis of Palmyra. Women and children were among 23 people executed in cold blood outside Palmyra, monitoring groups said, AFP reported.

Following the latest reported IS atrocity in Syria, the extremists raised their flag over Ramadi’s government headquarters after launching a wide offensive using suicide car bombs that sent civilians fleeing the western city, edging closer to what would be their biggest victory in Iraq this year.

IS “now occupies the government centre in Ramadi and has also raised its flag over the police HQ for Anbar,” a police major said on condition of anonymity.

The loss of the capital of Anbar Province would be a major setback for Iraq’s government, which has struggled to gain the upper hand against the IS group in the region and Baiji, north of Baghdad, despite months of US-led bombing raids.