A follow-up to Friday’s story about tribal leaders from Iraq’s Anbar province pleading with the Obama Administration for direct military support: those leaders now say Iraqi troops in the region are perhaps only “hours” away from crumbling against the ISIS assault.
CNN reports Sheikh Naim al-Gaoud, leader of the Albu Nimr tribe, told the network on Saturday that the entire province would “collapse within hours” under the stress of Islamic State attack because of the Iraqi army’s inefficiency in the face of challenges from the terror group. “In Anbar, we are losing ground, not gaining,” he said, calling for increased intervention on the part of the United States military before the Islamic State commits a “massacre” in the province’s larger towns.
It is worth nothing that Anbar’s anti-Islamic State tribes, which also appear to have little confidence in the Iraqi army, as Sunni Muslims that oppose the Islamic State despite nominally being of the same religion.
This comes as the Pentagon admits that ISIS’ attack on an airbase housing U.S. Marines on a training mission was far more serious than they initially reported, as ISIS forces wearing stolen Iraqi military uniforms and packing suicide bombs were able to reach the outer limits of the base. Earlier reports claimed that the base suffered only “incidental” damage from light mortar fire.