NEW YORK TIMES: In a major setback for the Iraqi government’s efforts to defend its hold on Ramadi, a crucial regional capital, Islamic State militants conquered the city’s government sector on Friday, raising their black flag over the main compound before setting fire to the building, local officials said.
The new jihadist assault began under the cover of darkness late Thursday, starting with a wave of suicide attacks by clean-shaven fighters driving armored Humvees and dressed in Iraqi Army uniforms.
As fighters for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, advanced on Friday, there were reports of massacres. Sheikh Omar Shihan al-Alwani, a tribal leader whose men have been fighting the Islamic State there, said more than a dozen families had been killed in his area of Ramadi, along with about 50 policemen and tribal fighters.
“We asked our fighters to leave their weapons and withdraw,” he said. “Otherwise, we would lose them all.”… (more)