Eight suicide bombers killed in Iraqi army base

- The Iraqi army base in Anbar province contains a contingent of 45 US military experts.

ANBAR, Iraq (AA) – The Iraqi security forces have killed eight Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, suicide bombers Friday in the Ayn al-Asad Iraqi army base in Anbar province, an Iraqi army source said.

The eight suicide attackers infiltrated Ayn al-Asad military base Friday morning, where a contingent of U.S. military specialists had arrived the previous evening.

The Iraqi security forces managed to kill the attackers and proceeded to detonate their explosive belts without suffering any casualties, the army source, who wished to remain nameless, said.

Intense clashes took place around Ayn al-Asad base between security forces backed by U.S-led international coalition air forces and ISIL militants, the source added.

In an earlier statement on Friday, Major General Kasem al-Mohammadi, Anbar province’s military operations chief, had confirmed the fortification of Ayn al-Asad military base saying that ISIL was two kilometers from the base.

Forty-five American officers and military personnel arrived in Iraq Thursday evening from a U.S. base in Kuwait to provide training to Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters to free Anbar province from ISIL militants.

U.S. General John Allen – the international coalition’s coordinator – had announced on Feb. 8, that the Iraqi security forces would start a major offensive ground against ISIL within weeks.

Clashes between Iraqi forces and ISIL have been ongoing since June 2014 when the armed group seized Mosul and other territories in Iraq.

This prompted the U.S. to form an international coalition, which has launched numerous airstrikes against ISIL targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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