More than a year has passed since the Islamic State (IS) occupied six major towns in Anbar, stretching from Qaim to Rutbah, Anah to Rawa and Hit to Fallujah. Over the last two months and up until today, it has simultaneously opened six new fronts, including in Haditha, central Ramadi, Tharthar, al-Amiriyah, al-Karmah and al-Baghdadi, to complete its occupation of the whole of Anbar province.
The ignition of the Anbar front is a direct attempt by IS to make up for its defeat in Tikrit, but it was no surprise, particularly since Anbar has always been an open, vast and ideal geographic arena for extremist organizations over the past years. Anbar was the stronghold of al-Qaeda and a large number of armed factions, such as the Islamic Army in Iraq (AIA), the Mujahedeen Army and Hamas in Iraq. The province witnessed major military operations during the US occupation (2003-12).