MOSCOW, November 23 (Sputnik) — If the government complex in the city of Ramadi falls under the attack of Islamic State (IS), then the whole province of Anbar will fall too, Faleh Issawi, deputy head of the provincial council, told CNN on Sunday.
"If the government complex falls, it would mean the fall of the whole province," Issawi was quoted as saying by the news channel.
According to the deputy head, the fighting began on Friday following a coordinated attack launched by IS militants. The bodies of 23 tribesmen, fighting alongside the Iraqi military, and 12 IS militants were found after the attack.
The battle is said to be taking place some 1,000 feet from the complex where the local government and security headquarters are located.
Most of the Anbar province and certain areas of Ramadi are already under the control of the extremist group, with the militants still making advances, despite the airstrikes conducted against IS positions by the US-led coalition.
The Islamic State extremist group has been fighting against the Syrian government since 2012 and in June 2014 it extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq. US-led coalition's airstrikes are being carried out in an attempt to stop the advance of the group.