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Iraqi Forces Claim Victory Over ISIS In Fallujah

on Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:18 pm
Iraqi security forces say they have taken control of the city of Fallujah from Islamic State militants after nearly five weeks of intense fighting.

The militant group has controlled the city for the past 2 ½ years, as NPR's Alice Fordham tells our Newscast unit. Iraqi officials pronounced the fight over after pushing ISIS fighters out of Fallujah's Jolan district.

The commander of the operation, Lt. Gen. Abdel Wahab al-Saadi, appeared on state television and "hailed what he called the victory of the security forces and their allies, although he said clearing operations were still ongoing," as Alice reports.

Al-Saadi said at least 1,800 Islamic State militants were killed during the recent fighting and others fled the city, according to Reuters.

This comes a week after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in Fallujah, after the U.S.-backed forces took control of Fallujah's main government building. As The Associated Press reports, al-Abadi "pledged that remaining pockets of IS fighters would be cleared out within hours, but fierce clashes on the city's northern and western edges persisted for days."

The strategic city is located about 35 miles from Baghdad, and as we reported, ISIS has used the city as a jumping off point for recent attacks in Iraq's capital.

As of Tuesday, at least 85,000 people had fled Fallujah and the surrounding area during the weeks of fighting, the United Nations refugee agency said. It adds: "About 60,000 of these fled over a period of just three days last week, between 15 to 18 June." The flood of displaced persons has overwhelmed nearby camps, it says.............

To read further go to this link: npr.org 
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