Iraqi Elite Military Team in Fallujah Clears Remnants of ISIS Militants
Iraq’s elite Counter Terrorism Service known as the CTS are still in Fallujah, which was recaptured last month by government forces and now charged with clearing the remnants of ISIS and the explosive traps the group left behind.
The city is some 50 kilometers west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. “Now we are going to a house to clear the house from terrorists,” says Anmar Ahmed Alshamry, Second Lieutenant of the Iraqi CTS.
Always on their guard, this Special Operations unit is ready to engage their enemy or deal with hidden explosives.
There are no ISIS fighters this time but they were here, their weapons remain abandoned as they fled.
Clearing these houses is a slow process. On the roof snipers scan the remnants of a once vibrant city.
A man says he spied a head moving in the minaret of a mosque. “Keep your eyes on it,” he tells a nearby marksman. In the distance people can hear a gun battle with ISIS, which these men call by its Arabic name “Daesh.”
“The army now is on the other side fighting against Daesh to get the civilians and kill all of Daesh with Iraq Special Forces,” says Anmar Ahmed Alshamry, who adds that they are just 8,000 meters away from the gunshots – quite close.
These houses must be cleared to ensure the city is truly secure. But it’s clear that it will take a long time before the civilian population here can move back into their shattered homes.
Search operations wind up as night falls. It’s time now to ensure ISIS cannot launch a counter attack under the cloak of darkness.
Some of these soldiers have been fighting the militants for more than two years.
Soon many will head to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and ISIS’s last stronghold in Iraq, where they will be at the forefront of operations to end the fanatical group’s self-declared Caliphate in Iraq.