The Islamic State has released photographs showing its forces engaged in combat with the Iraqi military and their tribal allies in Amiriyat al Fallujah in eastern Anbar province. The photos were disseminated on Twitter by the jihadist group’s supporters after being posted elsewhere online. The Islamic State has taken to releasing its propaganda this way after the social media site began to crackdown on its official accounts.
The pictures bear the title of Wilayat al Fallujah, which is one of the Islamic State’s proclaimed administrative districts in Iraq. The Wilayat is one of their newest districts and is one of the three that make up Iraq’s Anbar Province. The three are Wilayat Anbar, Wilayat al Fallujah, and Wilayat al Furat (Euphrates Province), which includes the towns of Al Qaim in Iraq and Albu Kamal in eastern Syria.
The images show fierce firefights between the Islamic State and Iraqi military personnel or their tribal allies. Several pictures showcase their snipers, while others focus on troops armed with PK machine guns, AK-47, or US-made assault rifles. Other pictures detail mortars being fired on Iraqi military positions, as well as M113 armored personnel carriers being used as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.
Amiriyat al Fallujah is a town just 30 kilometers south east of Fallujah. The Islamic State has surrounded the town and laid siege to it. Iraqi security forces holed up in the town have repelled several assaults by the Islamic State over the past few weeks.
The town is on the Euphrates River and links Anbar province with Jurf al Sakhar in northern Babil. If the Islamic State is able to control Amiriyat al Fallujah and Jurf al Sakhar, it is able to link its forces in the two provinces and put pressure on the capital of Baghdad as well as the Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.
Iraqi forces, spearheaded by Iranian-backed Shia militias, recently took control of Jurf al Sakhar, however the town has changed hands multiple times since the beginning of this year. The Iraqi military has claimed it will launch an operation to clear the Islamic State from Amiriyat al Fallujah.
Pictures released by the Islamic State from Amiriyat al Fallujah:
The next seven pictures showcase M113 armored personnel carriers being used as VBIEDs. The pictures are captioned “First Martyr” (two pictures), “Second Martyr” (two pictures), “Third Martyr” (one picture) and “Fourth Martyr” (two pictures) respectively.