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Iraqi troops press battle in west with al-Qaida

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BAGHDAD — Iraqi troops press battle in west with al-Qaida

Under siege by government forces, al-Qaida militants tried to strengthen their hold on two of Iraq’s main Sunni cities today, telling residents that they were defending them against the Shiite-led government.

Iraqi troops and allied tribesmen surrounded the western city of Fallujah and fired artillery at a nearby area where up to 150 militants were stationed, a military official said. Troops also made forays into the city of Ramadi, he…

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