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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Abadi Declares Victory over Daesh in Fallujah


Local Editor
Iraqi forces Friday entered the center of Fallujah, the Iraqi city longest held by Daesh [The Arabic Acronym for the terrorist ISIS/ ISIL group], nearly four weeks after the start of a military offensive to retake the key city.

Government troops recaptured the municipal building, though the militants still controlled a significant portion of Fallujah, an hour’s drive west of Baghdad, and many streets and houses remain mined with explosives.
Federal police raised the Iraqi state flag above the government building and continued pursuing insurgents, according to a military statement. US War Secretary Ash Carter said Iraqi forces had taken back a portion of the city, although he added: “There’s still some fighting to be done.”
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory shortly after nightfall, as government forces continued pushing into parts of the city held by the militants. Security forces have “tightened their control inside the city and there are still some pockets that need to be cleansed in the coming hours,” he said in a brief speech on state television.
Troops could be seen coming under sniper fire earlier in the day as they entered a large mosque about 100 meters from the municipal building. Clashes also involved gunfire, artillery and aerial bombardment, sending clouds of smoke toward the sky above the city center.
Heavily armed Interior Ministry police units were advancing along Baghdad Street, the main east-west road running through the city, and commandos from the Counter-Terrorism Service had surrounded Fallujah hospital, the military statement said. Sabah al-Numani, a CTS spokesman, said on state television that snipers were holed up inside the main hospital.
Fallujah was seen as a launch pad for recent Daesh bombings in Baghdad, making the offensive a crucial part of the government’s campaign to improve security in the capital.
Addressing Fallujah’s residents, Prime Minister Abadi said in his speech: “We want there to be security and peace in this city for you to go back to live there.”
There is no place in Iraq for you and you will be punished for all the crimes you have committed. The Iraqi people are all united against you. Get out of our country, for Iraq is for Iraqis,” Abadi further said, addressing the terrorists.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
18-06-2016 | 09:05
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