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US insists IS on 'defensive' despite advances in Iraq

Iraqi soldiers fire their weapons towards Islamic State group positions in the Garma district on April 26, 2015The IS group’s latest advances in Ramadi, where the extremists seized a government compound, did not represent a setback, said Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, chief of staff of the US command overseeing the American-led air war against the IS group. “We firmly believe Daesh is on the defensive throughout Iraq and Syria,” Weidley told reporters in a teleconference, using an alternative acronym for the IS group. Despite months of US-led bombing raids, the Iraqi army has struggled to gain the upper hand against the IS group in western Anbar province as well as in Baiji, north of Baghdad. IS fighters had staged a “complex attack” earlier Friday in Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province, and Iraqi government forces managed “to repel most of these attacks but some gains were made” by the jihadists, Weidley said.

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