Islamic State seizes Hit, assaults Iraqi military headquarters in Anbar


A smoke plume rises from the military headquarters in Ramadi after an Islamic State attack. Image from Iraqi Spring Media Center.

The Islamic State continues its offensive to consolidate control of Iraq’s Anbar province. Today, the jihadist group is reported to have taken control of the town of Hit and has launched assaults on the Anbar Operations Command north of Ramadi and the 7th Division headquarters at Al Asad Airbase in Al Baghdadi.

Iraqi officials confirmed that much of Hit, a town just 20 miles west of the provincial capital of Ramadi, is under the control of the Islamic State.

“Ninety percent of Hit has been overrun by militants,” a member of the Anbar provincial council told Reuters. Witnesses stated that “scores” of heavily armed fighters are patrolling the town and the Islamic State’s black flag is flying over several government buildings, including the mayor’s office and the police station. Sporadic fighting between Islamic State fighters and the local Albu Nimr tribe has also been reported.

The Islamic State began its attack on Hit with a complex suicide assault, according to the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA).

“The elements of the [Islamic State] attacked, at dawn today, Hit district from three directions,” NINA reported. Islamic State fighters first took control of the roads leading to the town, then deployed three suicide car bomb attacks on key checkpoints. Afterwards, the group targeted other checkpoints and the military headquarters in the town.

The Islamic State captured “a battalion of tanks, the headquarters of the Infantry Regiment, the headquarters for the leadership of the border guards of the Fourth Region, the Police Department of Hit and 5 police stations in the district,” NINA reported. At least 24 soldiers are said to have been killed and “dozens” more are missing.

Unconfirmed reports from Iraqi officials claimed that the Islamic State fled the town “as a result of international coalition [US and allied country’s] aircraft’s bombing to the gatherings of militants in the region.” The US has not released a press release announcing airstrikes in Hit. Yesterday, one airstrike was reported by CENTCOM “in the vicinity of the Haditha Dam.”

Islamic State attacks on military headquarters in Ramadi, Al Baghdadi

In addition to assaulting Hit, the jihadist group launched attacks nearby at the Anbar Operations Command and Al Asad Airbase.

Iraqi troops are said to have “repulsed an attack” on the Anbar Operations Command just north of Ramadi, NINA reported. Additionally, unconfirmed reports indicate that the Al Mua’almin neighborhood in southern Ramadi has fallen to the Islamic State.

Also, the Iraqi Army reportedly repelled another assault on the headquarters element of the depleted 7th Division, which is based at Al Asad Airbase near the town of Al Baghdadi.

The fall of Hit and attacks on the Iraqi Army headquarters in Ramadi and Al Baghdadi are the latest in a series of setbacks suffered by the Iraqi military in Anbar province at the hands of the Islamic State.

Just days ago, the Islamic State routed a mechanized unit in Albu Aytha, a village just north of Ramadi. And two weeks ago, just north of Fallujah, the jihadists overran Camp Saqlawiya and took control of the nearby town of Alsigir. The group controls much of Anbar province, including Fallujah, areas of the provincial capital of Ramadi, and the border crossing at Al Qaim. [For more details, see LWJ reports, Islamic State ambushes Iraqi military column near Ramadi, Islamic State overruns Iraqi military base in Anbar, and Islamic State photos detail rout of Iraqi Army at Camp Saqlawiya.]

Tags: ,


  • Alex says:

    Hmm. I was under the impression that Ramadi was under full IS control already. Was that mistaken?
    It also raises the question why the IA is maintaining outposts in areas that are increasingly untenable. It may make sense to withdraw to a position that they can reasonably stand ground at until IA can be rebuilt/augmented with Western air/SF and go on the offensive…thoughts?

  • blert says:

    “…a battalion of tanks…”
    I sure hope that’s an exaggeration.
    And to lose so many critical assets — so cheaply.
    It would appear that the unit had already dissolved BEFORE the ISIS crew even showed up.
    American advisers have been in-country for weeks now. Yet, this!
    It’s obvious that every single Sunni trooper has bailed out on the Shi’ite regime. Good going al Maliki!
    These formations (apparently) don’t even have the capacity (or good sense) to retreat back to the capital — ninety minutes away!
    The gear is simply being gifted to ISIS, including the repair shops and spare parts!
    I’ve yet to read a SINGLE account detailing how IA troops destroyed critical gear before abandoning it to the enemy. In every case, they run away like scared girls.

  • Fred says:

    Damn. Hate to say it but we might need boots on the ground. Is it worth it?

  • Dustin says:

    I was in Al-Asad Air Base 3 years ago. My prayers to my friends in the IA there.
    I still have the 7th Div patch I traded with them.

  • Evan says:

    Was it worth it the first time Fred? How about the second?
    Depends on your perspective I suppose…

  • Bob v says:

    Here’s a radical thought that was brought up by a retired general on CNN the other day. This is NOT a quote!
    Syria, hasn’t been aggressive toward Israel or Western countries or his neighbours in quite a long time. It has a standing army that could be used in conjunction with the coalition aircraft and the Kurds to bring the war to ISIS! It is their country after all! This could be the boots on the ground Obama wants and with shared intelligence ,which IS already happening anyway, and embedding forward observers and SF in with their front line troops, this will assure a higher success rate in useful targeting!
    Arm the Kurds to the teeth with the most advanced weapons, since ISIS has top of the line Us hardware, and that needs to be equalled or better. They’ve proven to be a successful army, but they need help with arms and ammunition! Hands down!
    Get the A10s in theater and lay waste to any enemy it finds! If only the American government could take off the blinders and hold hands with someone you dislike in order to achieve the stated goal of destroying the Islamic State! We bomb, their Army takes and holds ground, but they still would still be battling the FSA! “The enemy of of my enemy is my friend!!”‘
    With the Iraqis folding their carpets and deserting( last number I read was 90, 000 soldiers, and just leaving all kinds of grade A weapons to the Militants! They can’t be depended on in the least, so watch for Iran to send in their army with the pretext of security, which would be true!

  • ad dawah says:

    what do we have to gain in fighting muslims over n over? we fight then the chinese come in and make the business deals. let china fright them. or since russia has shown a new fondness for military action let at it. the money we spend on wars if spent at home there would be a lot fewer poor.

  • jean says:

    has the IA won any engagements?

  • Eric says:

    IMHO Ramadi will fall inside of 2 months. No way you can take Hit 20 miles west of Ramadi and not have IS ravening for more.
    Afterwards they will clean up Anbar and continue to press for Haditha dam.
    20 miles form Hit to Ramadi would be a lot easier if a unit retreated with tanks. At night they could laager. The main guns could take out suicide vehicles like dump trucks. The tanks would keep the IS troops at a respectful distance.
    I am depressed. We keep bombing and IS keeps taking territory. Obviously CINC is not in it to win it.
    The DNC better hope that more large gains are not made by IS before the 1st Tuesday of November.
    there also better hope they are not a few hundred Ebola cases by November with the end uncertain.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram