The Iraqi army has launched an operation to re-take Fallujah in central Iraq from a coalition of insurgents.

Iraqi officials said an aerial assault east of the city was trying to dislodge fighters, including those of the Islamic State of Iraq.

The ISI and tribal groups moved into Fallujah on Friday and also attacked Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, to the west.

Iraqi officials said fighting near Ramadi killed at least 22 soldiers and 12 civilians on Sunday.

Local officials said 25 insurgents had been slain in a Government airstrike.

The officials said 58 people were wounded in the clashes, along with an unknown number of insurgents.

On a trip to Israel, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the US will provide assistance to Iraqi forces but will not send ground troops:

We are not obviously contemplating returning, we are not contemplating putting boots on the ground, this is their fight.

But we’re going to help them in their fight… We are going to do everything that is possible to help them.