ISIS Surrounds 320 US Marines at Air Base – Claims They Downed Another U.S.-Coalition Jet Fighter

News has it from Reuters that ISIS took control on Thursday of most of the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, threatening an air base where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops while monitoring ISIS Twitter communications reveals that a possible fighter jet belonging to the United Arab Emirates was hit in Raqqa and is possibly downed, as reported by exchanged twitter messages (see for example Syrian Army Free a pro FSA blog that monitors events in Syria). The message was also exchanged on Twitter by ISIS support groups, but was not confirmed by any major sources.
Al-Baghdadi, about 85 km (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province, had been besieged for months by ISIS who captured vast swathes of northern and western Iraq last year and currently holds 90% of it.
“Ninety percent of al-Baghdadi district has fallen under the control of the insurgents,” district manager Naji Arak told Reuters by phone.
And today, ISIS attacked al-Baghdadi from two directions earlier in the day and then advanced on the town, intelligence sources and officials in the Jazeera and Badiya operations commands said.
Baghdadi al-Assad is the largest military base in Iraq, where many American advisers are there.

ISIS Attacks Airbase Housing U.S. Troops

No Americans were injured, but with ISIS holed up in a town less than 10 miles away, this may not be the last such assault.
Two dozen jihadists—including at least four suicide bombers—charged at the perimeter of an Iraqi base that is home to U.S. troops on Friday, marking the first such attack by suspected members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The assault on the Ayn al Asad Airbase near the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar province comes just days after the Islamic State took control of the nearby town of al Baghdadi on the Euphrates River, less than 10 miles away. That ISIS took a town so close to the base had immediately raised fears that the terror group would try to strike at American troops.

During the U.S. war in Iraq, the base was the site of frequent attacks by what was then known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, the group that subsequently renamed itself Islamic State and declared a supposed “caliphate” last year. It is now widely known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL.

As one Pentagon official explained to The Daily Beast, “We are all too familiar with this kind of attack.”

The Daily Beast >>

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