They continue to get closer to the town, too, despite large numbers of Kurdish militia fighters opposing them. On Monday, they were reportedly 5 km from town. On Tuesday they were 3 km away. This morning, they are said to be only “a few hundred yards” away.
Ayn al-Arab would give ISIS a long, contiguous border with Turkey. The bigger deal would be the psychological impact on the Syrian Kurds, however, who had been successful in defending the town in the past, but seem to be losing ground now in the wake of ISIS offensives.
Iraqi state media reported ISIS has seized the town’s police station as well as the mayor’s office, but the tribal fighters say that the battle is ongoing, and that ISIS can’t move freely inside the town.
Just northwest of Ramadi, Hit is along the main highway leading to Haditha, and Haditha Dam has been an important target for ISIS in recent months. The loss of the town would give them another route through which to target the dam.
Though ISIS controls the majority of the Anbar Province, several individual towns have remained independent. If they stay that way, ISIS may find the Iraqi military trying to use them as staging grounds in the fight to retake the area.
At least 291 people were killed today and 49 more were wounded. Heavy fighting took place during a failed attempt by ISIS/DAASH to take over Hit, in Anbar province. Meanwhile, the United Nations released a gruesome report on the violence and abuses occurring across Iraq.
The United Nationsreleased a report describing the "staggering array" of human rights abuses in Iraq. They warn that there are reports of other "terrifying" allegations that were left out because they had not been confirmed, yet. Many violations were perpetrated by the Islamic State militants, but they also reported ones conducted by Iraq’s own security forces. They have tallied the deaths of at least 9,347 civilians in these multiple conflicts.
Imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party head Abdullah OcalanwarnedTurkeythat allowing Islamic State militants to take over they Syrian city of Kobanê and massacre Kurds there would seriously damage ongoing peace talks. A decades-long guerilla war tapered between the two off last year, and a permanent truce was looking likely earlier this year. The P.K.K. had staged many of their attacks against Turkey from bases hidden in northern Iraq. Likewise, Turkey would bomb suspected sites without permission from Baghdad. Should the truce completely end, it can only add another confusing layer to regional issues, such as the expansion of the Kurdish state.