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    Iraqi Air Strikes on Ramadi Kill 34

    Fighting between Iraqi forces and al-Qaida linked militants who seized control of two western cities has killed at least 34 people and wounded 58.

    Iraqi officials say government forces launched an air strike on Ramadi Sunday. But residents say it has been quiet since late Saturday in Fallujah.

    Pro-Sunni and pro-al-Qaida militants took over both cities last week. They have been fending off government forces and allied tribal fighters, including some Sunnis who oppose the militants.

    Lieutenant General Rasheed Fleih, who leads the Anbar Military Command, says it will take a few days for government forces to retake the two cities.

    Also Sunday, separate car bombs killed at least 19 people in Baghdad.

    Violence between Iraq's Shi'ite-led government and the Sunni minority has killed thousands since last year.



    The Sunnis accuse the government of ignoring their needs and shoving them to the political sidelines. Iraqi official accuse the Sunnis of involvement in terrorism.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that the United States will provide assistance to Iraqi forces in their battle against the pro-al-Qaida militants, but that it is "their fight."

    Kerry said there are no thoughts of sending U.S. ground troops back into Iraq.

    OPTIONAL SOUNDBITE

    Lieutenant General Rasheed Fleih, Head of Anbar Military Command

    "And after the tribes end their operations, the troops will start a wide-scale military operation, after a request from the provincial council and the governor, who have appealed to us to support the tribes and the security troops, to get fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State in Iraq and Levant out of Anbar province."

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    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
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