By Dominic Evans BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi troops and Shi'ite Muslim militia forces attacked Islamic State fighters on several fronts on Monday in Anbar, the country's largest province, at the start of what is likely to be a long and fiercely contested offensive. A spokesman for the joint operations command said the campaign, which began at dawn, brought together the army, mainly Shi'ite Hashid Shaabi militias, special forces, police and local Sunni Muslim tribal fighters. "At 5 o'clock this morning operations to liberate Anbar were launched," the spokesman said. Military sources in Anbar said they met heavy resistance from the insurgents, who deployed five suicide car bombs and fired rockets to repel their advance on the city of Falluja, about 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad. Iraqi forces also pushed towards the provincial capital, Ramadi, from the west and the south, police sources in the province said. Islamic State supporters said those advances were repelled by the militants. The sprawling Sunni Muslim province extends hundreds of kilometers west of Baghdad. Many of the towns and cities that line the banks of the Euphrates, snaking down from the Syrian border, are Islamic State strongholds.Islamic State's capture of Ramadi two months ago marked the biggest defeat for the Baghdad government since the militants swept through the north of the country last June and declared a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq straddling the border. Until Ramadi's fall, Iraqi troops and Hashid Shaabi forces, backed by U.S.-led air strikes, had been pushing Islamic State back, recapturing the eastern province of Diyala and former leader Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, with the ultimate target of retaking the northern city of Mosul. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, angered at the army's withdrawal from Ramadi in mid-May, initially promised a swift counter-attack. Although Ramadi remains the strategic target, military sources and Shi'ite militia leaders have said the initial focus will be on Falluja, which was the first city in Iraq to fall under militant control 18 months ago. FIRST JETS ARRIVE FROM U.S. A U.S.-led air coalition has been bombing Islamic State positions across Iraq, supporting Baghdad's ground forces and its poorly equipped air force. On Sunday, it sharply stepped up air strikes around Ramadi, with 29 out of 39 missions in Iraq targeting Islamic State positions near the city. Iraq has sought to redress its own lack of air power by purchasing F-16 fighter jets from the United States, but deliveries of the 36 aircraft were delayed because of security concerns after the Islamic State offensive last summer. On Monday, a first batch of four F-16s landed at Balad air base north of Baghdad, an Iraqi air force officer said. Authorities said the planes would join operations in Anbar within days. Hadi al-Ameri, commander of the largest Shi'ite force, the Badr Organization, told Iraqi television on Sunday he expected the main assault on Falluja to take place after the Eid holiday, which starts later this week. Residents in Falluja and Ramadi reported heavy bombardment of both cities early on Monday. Falluja saw the fiercest fighting of the U.S. occupation after Washington's 2003 invasion to topple Saddam. It has also been a center of Sunni hostility to the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad. Abadi initially sought to keep Shi'ite militias on the sidelines in Anbar for fear of inflaming sectarian sensitivities, but the fall of Ramadi in May undermined his position. In Baghdad on Sunday, at least 35 people were killed in a series of car bombs and suicide attacks in mainly Shi'ite districts. A statement in the name of Islamic State, issued on Monday, claimed responsibility for some of the blasts. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Saif Hameed in Baghdad, and Isabel Coles in Erbil; Editing by Mark Trevelyan, Larry King)
- Country Living
Lady Gaga just shared a new selfie to Instagram and she's gone topless / no-makeup for the pic, sharing a glimpse of her natural skin texture without filters
- WSB Cox articles
He was sentenced to five consecutive life terms plus 60 years.
Video: Ted Cruz was confronted after NRA conference by ex-House candidate at Houston restaurant: '19 children died! That's on your hands!'
"Why did you come here to the convention to take blood money? Why, when 19 children died?" A former House candidate asked Cruz in the video.
What's the point of shorts if they're not super short?
He ended his speech praising the National Rifle Association with his trademark "dance" step.
- Miami Herald
Could Tropical Storm Agatha, which is forecast to become a hurricane on Sunday as it approaches the southern coast of Mexico, emerge after its bout with Mexico and threaten Miami?
- Ukrayinska Pravda
VALENTYNA ROMANENKO - SATURDAY, 28 MAY 2022, 11:45 The Ukrainian Armed Forces have shown a video of the destruction of Russian forces and equipment in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Source: Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff and the 45th Separate Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Facebook Quote from the 45th Brigade: "On one of the farms in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, a massive commotion was organised by the orcs (Russians - ed.
A former tech developer bought a rusty 1955 cruise ship on Craigslist and estimates he's spent $1 million restoring it. Check it out.
The 293-foot cruise ship had three decks, 85 cabins with en-suite bathrooms, a swimming pool, and a lot of issues when Chris Willson bought it.
The Uvalde school police chief initially told the public there were 'some deaths' after the shooting. Authorities now say he refused to send cops into the building during the massacre.
Texas law enforcement officials alleged Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo decided not to send in cops because he thought no more kids were in danger.
- Ukrayinska Pravda
Ukrainska Pravda - Saturday, 28 May 2022, 16:31 Russian journalists report that, according to their sources, the Kremlin initially approved of the conduct of the Kadyrovites [units subordinate to Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic in the Russian Federation] in Ukraine.
A one minute and forty second sequence in which a shirtless Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and Rick Rossovich face off to Kenny Loggins’ “Playing With The Boys.”
She faces plenty of future GOP leadership competitors, including Rep. Jim Banks. And her camp got burned after allegedly raising Banks aide Buckley Carlson.
- The Daily Beast
Terry WyattLee Greenwood, the staple of Trump rallies and the most prominent musician to pull out the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Texas, told Fox News on Friday that his conscience would not allow him to perform at the event in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting.Greenwood directly cited the massacre that left 19 children and two adults dead as the cause of his last-minute pang of conscience.During an appearance on Fox & Friends on Friday, Greenwood added: “For me to go and
Dominic Fike dug his own grave by sharing controversial comments about his opinion on Amber...
My bank accidentally deposited $10K in my account. I reported it, then moved it to my savings account. Have I done enough?
‘I have made an earnest attempt to get the bank to take their money back, so I was wondering if at any point or time the money would become legally mine.’
Authorities say security video shows the back door of Texas school was propped open by a teacher just before the gunman attacked the school
Police believe the propped-open door was used by the gunman to enter Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Mark Cuban said he meant no disrespect to the fans at Chase Center.
The fast-food chain has added something many will love, but another beloved menu item had to be taken away to make it happen.
- The New York Times
VATICAN CITY — David Kertzer put down his cappuccino, put on his backpack and went digging for more Vatican secrets. “There’s an aspect of treasure-hunting,” said Kertzer, a 74-year-old historian. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Moments later, he cut through a crowd lined up to see Pope Francis, showed his credentials to the Swiss Guard and entered the archives of the former headquarters for the Holy Roman Inquisition. Over the last few decades, Kertzer has turned the
- The Wrap
"There is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, and it is not Ms. Heard," Camille Vasquez said