It’s going to take more than pin prick air strikes to dislodge them, let alone smashing their offensives.
By Saif Sameer and Ned Parker
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State wrested a Sunni Muslim village in western Iraq on Thursday from tribal defenders who put up weeks of fierce resistance, and the insurgents tightened a siege of the Yazidi minority on a mountain in the north.
The attacks showed Islamic State’s continued operating resilience despite air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces aimed at defeating the ultra-radical Sunni jihadist group, which has captured large expanses of Iraq and neighboring Syria, beheaded prisoners and massacred people from other religious communities, and declared a medieval-style caliphate.
The Albu Nimr tribe had been fending off Islamic State (IS) since early October but finally lost the village of Zauiyat albu Nimr in the western province of Anbar overnight on Thursday.
A small Iraqi army unit was stationed in the village but evacuated by helicopter in the early hours of Thursday, along with leaders from the Albu Nimr, a tribal figure from the village told Reuters in Baghdad.
Residents said the bodies of tribal fighters and soldiers lay strewn in the streets of Zauiyat albu Nimr on Thursday, and the very few who survived the onslaught had been told by IS insurgents to drop their weapons and leave.
“Islamic State are out to purge the village of Bu Nimr members,” said the tribal figure in Baghdad. “Sleeper cells inside the village have been assisting the Islamic State by providing the names and the locations of the houses of prominent resistance members.
“A list of 200 names that include the high officers in our village has been set and all of these names are to be killed.”