The U.S. Military has taken offensive measures to rid Fallujah of ISIS forces by calling in U.S. airstrikes as well as advising Iraqi government forces.
On Monday, Iraqi officials confirmed that Iraqi government forces pushed out ISIS militants in some of the surrounding agricultural areas.
Col. Mahmoud al-Mardhi, who is in charge of the Iraqi government’s paramilitary troops, said he captured three agricultural areas outside of Garma, which is just east of Fallujah. Central Garma is held by ISIS forces and is used to transport supplies safely into Fallujah. He said that airstrikes and artillery strikes are more frequently firing upon ISIS positions in the city.
Federal police battalion commander, 1st Lt. Ahmed Mahdi Salih said ground forces were taking the fight to the city of Garma.
The offensive began Monday on Fallujah, which is located just 40 miles west of the capital of Baghdad. The city has been under ISIS control since January 2014.
United States forces have been advising Iraqi government forces from Baghdad and Teqaddum.
Originally, Iraqi government forces had their sights set on taking back Mosul, Iraq from ISIS forces, but after multiple bombings in the capital of Baghdad that killed hundreds of people, the government shifted their focus to taking back Fallujah.
Lt. General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the commander of the Fallujah offensive said the first phase of their attack is to surround and bomb ISIS locations in the city. He said the length of the operation is unknown.
In a televised speech Sunday night, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi swore to “tear up the black banners of strangers who usurped this city.”
This attack comes just a week after Iraqi forces pushed out ISIS forces in the western town of Rutba, just 240 miles west of Baghdad.