Iraqi soldiers and allied volunteer fighters have pushed towards Fallujah from areas to the south as part of an operation to liberate the city from the grip of the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group, says a commander.
Staff Major General Ismail al-Mahalawi, the head of the Anbar Operations Command, said on Wednesday that forces from Iraq’s 8th Division, backed by tribal fighters, set out from the city of Amriyat al-Fallujah, south of Fallujah, and the al-Salam intersection to its southwest.
The offensive is being supported by air cover, Mahalawi added.
Early on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the long-awaited major operation to retake Fallujah in the western Anbar Province. Since then, the Iraqi military and volunteer fighters have managed to recapture several areas near the embattled city.
About 100,000 civilians are estimated to be in Fallujah which, in January 2014, became the first major Iraqi city to be captured by ISIS militants.