BAGHDAD – Iraqi officials say army troops backed by airstrikes have retaken a town that had been seized by Al Qaeda linked militants in a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad.
Senior military officials say Wednesday's counterattack came a day after heavily armed gunmen surrounded the main police station in Saqlawiya and forced all the policemen to relinquish their weapons and leave. Militants then gained control of the rest of the Anbar province town.
Security forces then launched airstrikes against the gunmen, who fled, allowing Iraqi troops to enter the town later Wednesday.
The army and allied tribesmen have been fighting Al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group around Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi, and the nearby city of Fallujah.