|Iraq deploys tanks, artillery for looming assault on Falluja||
The Iraqi army deployed tanks and artillery around Falluja on Tuesday, security officials said, as local leaders in the besieged city urged al Qaeda-linked militants to leave in order to avert an impending military assault.
According to Reuters, security officials and tribal leaders have said that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed to hold off an offensive to give people in Falluja time to push the militants out. But it is not clear how long they have before troops storm the town, close to Baghdad, where U.S. forces fought notable battles a decade ago.
Fighters, some of them foreign, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaeda affiliate also active across the border in Syria, overran police stations in Falluja and another city in Iraq's western Anbar province last week.
Nomads fight against militants in Anbar
Meanwhile, Iraqi nomads have started armed conflict against foreign backed militants to withdraw them from al-Anbar province in central Iraq.
Nomads from Abu Assaf and al-Bu Ali tribes have taken their weapons to stand against terrorists and try to push them out of al-Ramadi city, the capital city of al-Anbar province, al-Alam reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the nomads and Iraqi security forces succeeded in surrounding the terrorists in different areas to avoid their escape to the desert.
Iraq's U.S.-equipped armed forces have already shelled and launched airstrikes against militants over the past week. Tribesmen from the area are fighting on both sides.
Officials say dozens of militants have been killed, but the number of casualties among civilians, security forces and tribal fighters is not yet clear.
While the Iraqi government has made some concessions aimed at pacifying Sunnis, including freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of anti-Qaeda militiamen, underlying issues remain unaddressed.
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