Militants from Daesh are threatening to overtake a key western Iraq province, which would be a huge victory for the radical militant group and a setback for the coalition led by the U.S. that is targeting the militants.
A Daesh win in Anbar would give the group control of one of the most important dams in the country and a number of large army installations. That would potentially add to the abundant weapons stockpile the group is accumulating.
It also would give them the ability to establish one supply line all the way from Syria nearly to Baghdad. More importantly, it would allow them great position in which to start launching attacks on the capital of Iraq.
The offensive by the Daesh in Anbar received much less attention than the when it was assaulting Kobani the city in Syria near the border with Turkey.
However, Daesh fighters over recent weeks have invaded villages and towns systematically across Anbar, besieged police stations and army posts and attacked Iraqi troops in the capital of the province Ramadi.
Daesh already secured a huge foothold in January in Anbar when it seized Fallujah and sections of Ramadi. It then pushed into the province further during June.
Still, the government of Iraq maintained small areas of authority in the region dominated by Sunnis.
Iraqi troops suffered many reverses during the most recent militant offensive including losing two of its army bases.
U.S. attack helicopters and warplanes have hit targets controlled by Daesh and provided support to the Iraqi troops that are fighting within Anbar.
Airstrikes by the U.S. last month helped to stave off an attack on Haditha dam, as the militant were attempting to control the water supplies in Iraq.
However, the airstrikes have not been successful in curbing the momentum of the militants.
Anbar province the largest in Iraq was the bloody Sunni insurgency epicenter against forces from the U.S. that raged following the 2003 invasion.