Iraqi Army Kicks Off New Operation to Win Back Key Areas Near Fallujah
“The Iraqi army’s eighth battalion and air force kicked off fresh military operations to liberate Fallujah’s Western parts,” Commander of Anbar operations Esmayeel al-Mahlavi said on Saturday.
He noted that the Iraqi tribal forces will help the army to conduct its large-scale operations in Western Fallujah.
Earlier on Saturday, Iraq’s joint forces managed to break the defense lines of the ISIL in Southern Fallujah, and killed the Takfiri terrorist group’s religious judge in the Southern part of Salahuddin province.
ISIL’s religious judge, Jassem Mohammad Sarhan al-Shablavi, was killed in an Iraqi air raid in al-Jomhouriya region in the Southern part of Salahuddin province, battlefield sources announced.
The Iraqi army also took control of the ISIL’s defense lines in Southern Fallujah.
The Iraqi government troops also continued their advances in Jabil region in Southern Fallujah on Saturday.
On Thursday, battlefield sources announced that the Takfiri terrorists in Fallujah city were surrounded from the Northern, Eastern and Southern directions.
“A large-scale operation to retake the city will resume imminently,” the sources added.
Asked by FNA of reasons for the Iraqi forces’ slow advance in Fallujah operations, a field source said that the ISIL has planted hundreds of booby-trapped bombs around the city to slow down the Iraqi army and is using the Fallujah residents as its human shield.
“Therefore, the Iraqi army should take precaution to lower the death toll among its forces and the civilians,” the source added.
The source also said that the ISIL has also forced the Fallujah residents, including women and children, to pick up arms and help the terrorist group in the war against the Iraqi forces.
Local sources confirmed today that 3,000 families have fled the Iraqi province of Anbar as the offensive against ISIL continues to deal severe blows to the terrorists.
The sources said since the beginning of the victorious operations by the Iraqi forces for the liberation of the city of Fallujah (60 km Northwest of Baghdad), Iraqi citizens have been able to run away from the areas where they had spent years living under a blockade, hunger and terror since January 2014.
Ismail al-Issawy, a management member of the central hospital in Fallujah, said that 1,500 families have fled the city center and about 500 families left Zobaa village, all headed towards the Iraqi army and local voluntary troops positions in Anbar province.