Special forces enter “third phase” in fight to liberate Fallujah from Islamic State, as 50,000 people remain trapped.

Iraqi special forces launched an assault one of the Islamic State group’s most emblematic hold-outs, Fallujah, as the group counter-attacked in both Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

On the 27th of May, the Western coalition conducted Air strikes in and around the city. Coalition air and artillery strikes in and around Fallujah have killed 70 IS fighters, including the militant leader, Maher Al-Bilawi. Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service is reported to be the first unit to break into the city.

The assault was launched in the early hours of Monday morning. Troops entered the city from three directions.

In January 2014, the Iraqi government lost control of the city to Islamic State. More than 100 people were killed as Iraqi police and tribesmen battled militants who took over parts of two cities on Anbar province.

In February 2016, the Iraqi army and its allies started to encircle the city in the Siege of Fallujah. The name of the current effort is ‘Operation Breaking Terrorism’.

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5 years ago

Perhaps the middle East is sufficiently destabilised, poor and stalked by fear that a Middle Eastern Union (under Turkey and Iran’s) leadership will emerge.

ISIS were just a tool to be used in order to accomplish this end? Perhaps in the same way the war weary peoples of Europe accepted the European coal and steel association and the nascent EU project after WW2, maybe the people of the middle East are reaching a similar point now?