The fighting in Salaheddin province is aimed at cutting a supply route south into Anbar and liberating the city of Baiji and an oil refinery, according to the militia group al-Hashd al-Shaabi. In Anbar province, the military operations will be in Karma, northeast of Fallujah, and around Ramadi.
ISIS fighters swept into Ramadi on May 17, tightening control of Anbar province and gaining a base of operations about 70 miles away from Baghdad. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter publicly criticized the Iraq army over the weekend, saying it lacked the will to fight. His criticism drew swift anger from the Iraqi government and prompted a call to the Prime Minister to try and smooth things over and reassure him of U.S. support for his country’s forces.
ABC’s Tom Rivers joined us to discuss.