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Friday, January 3, 2014

Videos of Fighters and Air Raids in Iraq’s Anbar Province

Radical Sunni militants aligned with Al Qaeda fought for control of Falluja and Ramadi on Friday, escalating a battle over the two cities that have increasingly become centers of Sunni extremism since American forces withdrew from the country at the end of 2011.

As my colleagues Yasir Ghazi and Tim Arango reported, the battles have pitted the Qaeda-affiliated Sunni extremists against the security forces of the Shiite-dominated central government, backed by local tribesmen who are not strong supporters of the government but, in this struggle, have decided to side with the army and police against Al Qaeda.

Video published online show some of the Qaeda-affiliated fighters entering the area in recent days.

Video described as showing Islamic State in Iraq fighters entering Anbar province.

The fighting on Friday was the fifth day the militants have been battling government security forces and their tribal allies in the two cities, with regional implications, as the Sunni militants in Iraq fought beneath the same banner as the most hard-line jihadists they have inspired in Syria â€" the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as my colleagues wrote.

Another video showed Anbar tribal fighters in an area outside the main cities.

Tribal fighters in Anbar who oppose the Al Qaeda militants.

And the Iraqi Ministry of Defense this week released its own footage showing airstrikes. The ministry said in a statement on its website on Thursday that its air forces’ precise airstrikes resulted in losses to the group.

Footage from the Iraqi Defense Ministry showing recent airstrikes against militants in Anbar.

Follow Christine Hauser on Twitter @christineNYT.