Iraqi Chaos

Fighting Erupts in Fallujah (Photos)

U.S. troops spent years battling insurgents in the Iraqi city—and now it’s fallen back into the hands of al Qaeda-linked militants. See striking photos of the renewed violence.

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Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters

Ramadi, December 30

Gunmen fighters walk in the streets of the city. Fighting broke out when Iraqi police moved to dismantle a Sunni Muslim protest camp in the western Anbar province, leaving at least 13 people dead, police and medical sources said.

Sadam el-Mehmedy/AFP/Getty

Highway Between Baghdad and Fallujah, January 5

A man shows off the V-sign for victory as he stands on top of a burned-out truck. The trucks were destroyed during fighting the day before between Iraqi army forces and militants. Iraq is preparing a “major attack” to retake militant-held Fallujah, a senior official said, spelling a new assault for the city, west of Baghdad, where U.S. forces repeatedly battled insurgents.

Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty

Checkpoint East of Baghdad, January 6

Iraqi soldiers monitor a checkpoint on the 93rd anniversary of the Iraqi army, as Iraq prepares a major attack to retake Fallujah. Forty-six miles west of the capital, Fallujah has been outside government control for days, while parts of the Anbar provincial capital, Ramadi, farther west, are also held by al Qaeda-linked fighters. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called for Fallujah residents to expel “terrorists” holding the city to avoid an assault by security forces, as they battled gunmen in nearby Ramadi.

AP

Fallujah, January 5

Gunmen patrol during clashes with Iraqi security forces. Lt. Gen. Rasheed Fleih, who leads the Anbar Military Command, told state television Sunday that “two to three days” are needed to push the militants out of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi.

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Fallujah, December 31

Two dead bodies of policemen are seen during clashes that erupted between Iraqi tribesmen and Iraqi security forces in the city.

Nabil al-Jurani/AP

Basra, January 5

Iraqi riot police officers grieve during the funeral procession of fellow officer Methaq Jaber, who was killed during clashes between the Iraqi army and al Qaeda fighters in Iraq’s second-largest city, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.

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Fallujah, January 4

Friends and relatives pray over the coffin of a man killed in fighing as it is carried for burial. Iraq has lost Fallujah to al Qaeda-linked fighters, a senior security official said, putting militants back in control of the city in Anbar province where American forces repeatedly battled insurgents. Fighting in Anbar killed 65 people on January 4—eight soldiers, two government-allied tribesmen, and 55 militants from the al Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, security officials said.

AP

Fallujah, January 5

Civilians load their belongings as they leave their homes after clashes between the Iraqi army and al Qaeda fighters.

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Fallujah, January 1

A car burns after a clash between Iraqi tribesmen and Iraqi security forces.

AP

Fallujah, January 5

A burned army truck looks over a hill as gunmen stand guard during clashes with Iraqi security forces on the outskirts of the city.

AP

Fallujah, December 31

People try to extinguish flames at a gas station after clashes between Iraqi army soldiers and Sunni gunmen. Iraqi police took down tents and cleared a Sunni protest camp sit-in in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, one of a half-dozen similar sit-ins across Sunni areas in Iraq, after protesters there agreed to end their months-long demonstration following talks with the Shiite-led government, an official said Monday. Clashes nearby that reportedly left almost a dozen dead, however, were a reminder of how the protest movement has often fueled armed campaigns by insurgent groups against the authorities.

AP

Fallujah, January 3

Burned vehicles dot an empty street filled with damaged buildings, including a provincial government post. Provincial spokesman Dhari al-Rishawi said Iraqi security forces and allied tribesmen are pressing their campaign to rout al Qaeda from Fallujah and Ramadi.

Nabil al-Jurani/AP

Basra, January 5

An Iraqi riot police officer flashes the V-sign as his unit returns to its headquarters from clashes between the Iraqi army and al Qaeda fighters in Anbar province.

AP

Outside Fallujah, December 30

Masked Iraqi Sunni protesters burn tires to block the main highway to Jordan and Syria.