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Sunday, June 19, 2016, Ashar 5, 1423 BS, Ramadan 13, 1437 Hijri


Abadi declares victory over ISIS in Fallujah
Published :Sunday, 19 June, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 17

FALLUJA, June 18 : Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Iraqi forces have retaken most of Fallujah from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), as clearing operations are under way to flush out the armed group's remaining fighters in the city.
The government lost control of Fallujah in 2014, months before ISIL, also known as ISIS, took Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, and swept across large parts of the country.
"We promised you the liberation of Fallujah and we retook it. Our security forces control the city except for small pockets that need to be cleared within the coming hours," Abadi said on Friday in a brief address on state TV.
"Fallujah has returned to the nation and Mosul is the next battle," Abadi also said on Twitter. "Daesh will be defeated," he added, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Earlier on Friday, Iraqi forces said they had entered the centre of Fallujah, nearly four weeks after the start of a US-backed offensive to retake the city 50km west of the capital, Baghdad.
"The counterterrorism service and the rapid response forces have retaken the government compound in the centre of Fallujah," the operation's overall commander, Lieutenant-General Abdul wahab al-Saadi, told the AFP news agency.
The Iraqi flag is now raised on top of the building, symbolising government control.
Commanders said their forces had met limited resistance from ISIL fighters during the push into the city centre.
"This is a very significant development," said Al Jazeera's Omar Al Saleh, who has reported extensively on the conflict in Iraq.
"It is a big moral boost for Iraqi soldiers."
Matthew Henman, from the Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, said that even with the "breakthrough", it would take "much longer" to completely get rid of ISIS in Fallujah, and prevent future attacks.
    ?Al Jazeera And Agencies









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