Heavy artillery fire and air strikes have continued in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, as the military battles to retake parts of the city from al-Qaida linked fighters. The al-Qaida backed "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" has been tightening its grip in the Sunni dominated desert province, near the Syrian border where it hopes to create an Islamic state.
Our Global Security Consultant, Paul Rogers, comments, in this interview with Radio France Inernationale, about how the group's rapidly expanding influence in the region has taken many by surprise.
The interview was originally published on 6 January 2014.
Photo: Families fled violence in Falluja and Ramadi, January 5, 2014. Source: Reuters/Mushtaq Muhammed via Radio France Internationale