Iraq Begins Offensive on Fallujah

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Iraq PM declares offensive to retake Fallujah from ISIL


    Iraq's Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has announced the start of a major offensive to retake Fallujah from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, which was quickly followed by reports of heavy shelling in the city.

    Sources in the city told Al Jazeera that six civilians were killed in shelling on Monday.

    "We are here to announce that the Iraqi flag will soon be flying in the sky of Fallujah," Abadi had said a day earlier.

    "Today, we will tear down the black flags of these despicable strangers who abducted this dear city. The time has come to liberate Fallujah and the victory will be ours. ISIL has nowhere to go but to flee the city."

    The government, though, is expected to face a tough fight to push ISIL, also known as ISIS, out of the city, which is just 50km west of Baghdad and has been under its control for more than two years.

    Fallujah was the first Iraqi city to fall to ISIL in January 2014, six months before it swept through large parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria, shocking much of the world and heralding a major expansion of its territory.

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    Asked about the assault, the US State Department and the Pentagon did not immediately comment.

    Richard Weitz, an analyst from the Hudson Institute, told Al Jazeera the US military did not see the battle for Fallujah as the most immediate priority.

    "The American military has been pushing them to reconquer Mosul as the decisive battle, not Fallujah," he said.

    More Here:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/...ive-retake-fallujah-isil-160522220106703.html
     
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  2. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    U.N. fears for 10,000 families trapped in ISIS-held Falluja as Iraq army advances

    Fierce fighting has been raging around Falluja sinceIraq's military launched an offensive Monday to reclaim the traditionally Sunni-dominated city, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad, from the terror group.
    And with tens of thousands of residents unable to flee the clutches of ISIS, the U.N. fears that civilians will pay a heavy toll for the liberation of the city.

    Iraq's air force has airdropped thousands of leaflets on the city instructing residents to leave and promising them passage through "safe corridors" established by the military to camps outside the city.
    The government has set up a hotline for residents to call or text if they require evacuation, while state television has broadcast advisories to residents to wave white flags over their homes if they can't flee, and to stay away from ISIS facilities and gatherings.
    But activists say ISIS has been preventing residents from leaving, and has cut many communication lines -- leaving thousands vulnerable to the fighting.
    An estimated 10,000 families remain trapped in the city "in a very precarious situation," the U.N. said in a statement.


    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/24/middleeast/iraq-falluja-residents-trapped/
     
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