Iraqi forces enter Daesh-held Fallujah: Commanders

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Iraqi forces enter Daesh-held Fallujah: Commanders
Iraqi pro-government forces drive their vehicles in an area between the village of Al Sejar and Fallujah, as they take part in a major assault to retake the city of Fallujah, from the Daesh group.

Baghdad The week-old operation had previously focused on retaking villages and rural areas around Fallujah, which lies just 50 kilometres west of Baghdad.

By AFP

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Published: Mon 30 May 2016, 10:13 AM

Last updated: Mon 30 May 2016, 7:08 PM

Iraqi forces entered the Daesh group bastion of Fallujah from three directions on Monday in a new phase of the operation to recapture the city, commanders said.
"Iraqi forces entered Fallujah under air cover from the international coalition, the Iraqi air force and army aviation and supported by artillery and tanks, said Lieutenant General Abdelwahab Al Saadi, the commander in charge of the operation.
"Counter-terrorism service (CTS) forces, the Anbar police and the Iraqi army, at around 4 am (0100 GMT), started moving into Fallujah from three directions," he said.
"There is resistance from Daesh," he added, using an Arabic acronym for Daesh.
CTS spokesman Sabah Al Norman said: "We started early this morning our operations to break into Fallujah."
The involvement of the elite CTS marks the start of a phase of urban combat in a city where US forces in 2004 fought some of their toughest battles since the Vietnam War.
The week-old operation had previously focused on retaking villages and rural areas around Fallujah, which lies just 50 kilometres west of Baghdad.
Only a few hundred families managed to slip out of the Fallujah area ahead of the assault on the city, with an estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped inside, sparking fears the militants could try to use them as human shields.
Fallujah is one of just two major urban centres in Iraq still held by Daesh. They also hold second city Mosul.
 



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