Dozens Killed as Iraqi Forces Aim to Retake Northern Town

Local officials claim much of the city retaken

Tanks and attack helicopters are pouring into the northern Iraqi town of Sulaiman Bek, as the Iraqi military aims to retake it from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which seized the town last week.

Local officials claimed earlier today that the military has “retaken” the town and the surrounding area, but clashes continue, AQI snipers remain in the town, and by most estimates they’ve taken a bit more than half of the town, with a lot of fighting left to do.

Retaking territory from AQI hasn’t been so easy, and the military has repeatedly reclaimed parts of the Anbar Province from them only to lose it back within a day or two.

And so long as the fighting over Anbar remains unresolved, Sulaiman Bek will remain very much a secondary priority for the Iraqi military, as it is much further from the capital city and in the frontier between Kurdistan and the rest of the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.