Yesterday, Iraqi officials were presenting the military offensive against al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)-held portions of the city of Ramadi as part of an effort that would eventually “destroy terrorism” nationwide.
Today, officials had a much more bleak outlook, with Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi saying that AQI has “major firepower” and that their weapons are “huge and advanced and frankly enough to occupy Baghdad.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan Ibrahim later confirmed the assessment, saying that the whole reason for the offensive on Ramadi yesterday was that “if the operation by security forces was delayed for a few weeks, there would’ve been an assault on Baghdad.”
Clashes continue across the Anbar Province, and AQI retains virtual control over Fallujah, with local tribes attempting to unseat them. The Interior Ministry’s comments suggest that all Iraq’s military can do for now is try to keep them contained.