Anbar province, a crucial buffer zone between Islamic State militants and the Iraqi capital here, is at new risk of falling to the militant group, officials from the region said.

The officials said the militants have strengthened their positions in Anbar in recent weeks and on Thursday overran the small city of Hit—a strategically important route between Anbar’s provincial capital of Ramadi and Haditha city, home to Iraq’s second-biggest dam.

“The situation in Anbar is really critical,” Falih Al Essawi, deputy head of the Anbar provincial council said in an interview on Tuesday. […]