Iraq PM announces beginning of military operation in Fallujah
May 23, Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday announced the start of a military operation to retake the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State (IS) group.
He said that special forces, soldiers, police, militia forces and pro-government tribesmen will take part in the operation to retake the city, located in Anbar province just 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad. Iraq's military has already warned civilians to leave the town.
Falluja was the first city to fall to IS in 2014 and is one of only two of its remaining strongholds in Iraq, reports said.
The Iraqi military said that those who could not flee should raise a white flag above their homes, state TV reported.
The Baghdad-based pro-Kurdish news website Shafaq said on Sunday that close to 20,000 police troops had arrived on the outskirts of Falluja ahead of the expected assault, media reported.
The Oslo Times