Breaking News

Monday, 30 May 2016

Iraqi forces ENTER Fallujah


Troops storm ISIS bastion on three fronts in massive dawn offensive amid fears jihadis will use 50,000 hostages as human shields
Hundreds of troops backed by tanks, artillery and coalition air strikes flooded into ISIS stronghold at 4am local time
Iraqi commander said his troops were facing 'resistance' from ISIS militants as they entered city in three directions
Marks new phase of urban warfare in a city where US forces fought their toughest battles since Vietnam War in 2004

Iraqi forces entered Fallujah today in a final assault to retake the city where 50,000 civilians are being held hostage by ISIS.

Troops backed by coalition air strikes, artillery and tanks stormed the terror group's bastion on three fronts in a massive dawn offensive.

They were joined by counter-terrorism service (CTS) forces, marking the start of a phase of urban combat in a city where US forces in 2004 fought some of their toughest battles since the Vietnam War.

Smoke billows into the air during an offensive by Iraqi military forces into Fallujah to retake the city from Islamic State militants in Iraq
An Iraqi military helicopter attacks ISIS positions during an offensive by Iraqi military forces to retake the city of Fallujah from ISIS
Lieutenant General Abdelwahab al-Saadi, the commander in charge of the operation, said: 'Iraqi forces entered Fallujah under air cover from the international coalition, the Iraqi air force and army aviation and supported by artillery and tanks.
'Counter-terrorism service (CTS) forces, the Anbar police and the Iraqi army, at around 4am (1am GMT), started moving into Fallujah from three directions,' he said.
'There is resistance from Daesh,' he added, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
The week-old operation had previously focused on retaking villages and rural areas around Fallujah, which lies just 30 miles west of Baghdad.
Only a few hundred families managed to slip out of the Fallujah area ahead of the assault on the city, with an estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped inside, sparking fears the jihadists could try to use them as human shields. 
A member of the Iraqi security forces fires a rocket against the backdrop of explosions during clashes with ISIS near Fallujah. Troops backed by air strikes, artillery and tanks have now stormed the terror group's bastion on three fronts in a massive dawn offensive
Guerrilla warfare: Troops were joined by counter-terrorism service forces (above) which marks the start of a phase of urban combat in a city where US forces in 2004 fought some of their toughest battles since the Vietnam War
Heavily armed elite forces wait for their orders to advance ahead of the offensive which began at around 4am local time this morning

Iraqi pro-government forces evacuate a wounded comrade in al-Sejar village in Iraq's Anbar province, on the boundaries of Fallujah as they take part in a major assault to retake the city