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Air strikes have been launched in Iraq against gunmen thought to be part of an extreme militant
group with links to Al-Qaeda. The government's defence ministry has released aerial footage
of the attacks, showing the missiles hitting buildings and cars, as people in the area
flee for cover.
Political commentators have accused Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki of taking military
action for political gain.
The politicians are looking for a triumph at the expense of this group in order to impose
control, and get political influence before parliamentary election in April. They plan
to expel the group and enforce stability and security, not by the hands of people of the
city but by Maliki's forces. Therefore, the military operations in Anbar have political
goals, to achieve the political gains.
The military operation in Anbar province comes after similar strikes against the group in
December. The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is one of two
rebel groups described by security forces around the world as the most extreme Sunni
Muslim factions trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.
Their aim is to eventually create their own state - but in the meantime, the fighting continues.