US ground troops were confirmed to have been joined Iraqi forces in attempting to repel an ISIS attack on the strategic Anbar Province town of Baghdadi, northwest of Ramadi.
The Iraqi police confirmed US troops from the al-Assad airbase joined the battle. Some 350 US troops are stationed at the base, deep in ISIS territory, and officials have often presented attacks on ISIS near the area as “self-defense.”
The Pentagon has not admitted to the ground troops’ engagement, and indeed may not, as there seems to be considerable interest in the administration to keeping that sort of thing quiet.
The Baghdadi fight was significant, however, with provincial officials reported a significant battle and a number of casualties on both sides. Baghdadi is one of the last towns that houses Albu Nimr tribesmen, a Sunni tribe that is pro-government, and has clashed openly, and unsuccessfully, with ISIS.