Iraqi official claims al-Qaida fighters have enough heavy arms to 'occupy' Baghdad

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: January 20, 2014 - 7:48 AM

BAGHDAD — A senior Iraqi official claims al-Qaida fighters hunkered down in a city they seized late last month west of Baghdad have enough heavy weapons to allegedly take the country's capital.

Senior deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi said Monday that Iraqi forces are fighting "fierce battles" against heavily armed militants to recapture parts of Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar province, and also the nearby city of Fallujah.

He says the weapons in Fallujah that are in the hands of Iraq's al-Qaida branch and other Sunni militant groups battling the Shiite-led government are "advanced and huge and enough to occupy Baghdad."

He didn't elaborate on the type or quantity of the weapons.

Iraq's government announced on Sunday an all-out military operation to push al-Qaida out of Ramadi.

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