One of only a handful of towns to be taken by ISIS in June and retaken by the Iraqi military, Dhululiya has fallen back to ISIS again, as 50 trucks of fighters met little resistance, killing four police and losing two ISIS fighters on their way back in.
Dhululiya is of little importance itself, but is close to the Shi’ite city of Balad, and by extension close to a very important military air base. Rebels reportedly destroyed the bridge to Balad after taking the town, to prevent reinforcements from resisting their takeover.
The ISIS takeover reflects their growing influence over the area, and that despite an influx of Shi’ite militias into the area, they continue to expand closer and closer to Baghdad from the north.
That’s a major concern for the Maliki government, which has already lost virtually the whole Anbar Province leading from the West into Baghdad, and the capital seems increasingly surrounded on multiple fronts.