Iraqi forces entered the northwestern al-Julan neighborhood have fully liberated Fallujah city, recapturing the final remaining district under Islamic State (ISIS) control on Sunday. Iraqi General Abdul Wahab al-Saidi told state TV,
“We announce from this place in central Golan district that it has been cleaned by the counter-terrorism service and we convey the good news to the Iraqi people that the battle of Fallujah is over.”
Sunday’s victory ends a month-long campaign to liberate the city from ISIS militants. Lt. General Abdul Wahab al-Saidi, commander of the liberation of Fallujah operations, said the city was liberated Sunday after recapturing the neighborhood of al-Jolan from ISIS. It was the last area of Fallujah that ISIS had controlled, he said while standing in the neighborhood.
Over 1,800 ISIS militants were killed during the military operations by the Iraqi forces to recapture the city and villages surrounding it. Two and a half years of ISIS rule in Fallujah has led to some of the bloodiest fighting to date against the terror group and has displaced thousands of Iraqis fleeing the war-torn city; those who were unable to flee were either imprisoned, executed, or pledged allegiance to ISIS out of fear. Fallujah was ISIS’ last major foothold in the Anbar Province, which was only 40 km from Baghdad.
Fighting between the Iraqi forces and ISIS can be summed up with two words: methodical and thorough. Iraqi forces methodically cleared one street at a time as well as one house at a time seeking to thoroughly eradicate ISIS from the city and take it back from the terrorists. Additionally, Iraqi forces are also faced with clearing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) left by ISIS and according to one counter-terrorism member,
“They don’t leave any house without first rigging it with explosives.”
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