On Thursday ISIS fighters attacked and seized a large section of the Iraqi city of al-Baghdadi, located about 50 miles northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province.

They also advanced on the Ain al-Asad air base near the town where 320 U.S. Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division.

The Pentagon reported “heavy fighting” in al-Baghdadi and said there were “reports of ineffective indirect fire in the vicinity of the base,” according to Reuters.

It also said Anbar is under “severe threat” by Islamic State fighters.

“Thursday’s fighting also demonstrates the continued ability of the Islamic State to remain on the attack despite coalition airstrikes. Still, U.S. officials maintain that the militants remain largely on the defensive,” the Washington Post reported.

Unconfirmed reports state ISIS has captured the air base and the Marines stationed there:

If true, the capture of Marines will undoubtedly provide sufficient impetus for Obama’s AUMF, including the use of ground troops.

The sensational attack comes a day after Obama asked Congress for authorization to expand the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The proposed AUMF included the use of ground troops.

The authorization will last three years and not set geographical limitations on the use of military force.

The limited use of ground troops, according leading neocon and CFR member Max Boot, “sends a message of irresolution that will make it tough for our troops to accomplish their mission.”

According to NBC News, a majority of American support Obamas’s proposal, including the use of ground troops.

“54 percent of Americans say they want their member of Congress to vote for this authorization. This includes a majority of Democrats (60 percent), Republicans (52 percent) and independents (51 percent),” NBC reports.

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