Iraqi Army has launched a major new offensive to retake the city of Fallujah in Anbar province, Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on Friday. The Washington Post reported that 42,000 troops have been dispatched to Anbar.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and anti-government tribesmen overran the city in January, and despite previous attempts by the army, the city remains completely out of government control. The ISIL also controls other areas in Anbar, including neighborhoods in the provincial capital of Ramadi.
The Ground Forces, Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces, Iraqi Army Aviation (IAA), Ministry of Interior Forces, and tribal elements are taking part in the operation, MoD said (alsumaria.tv/iswiraq, 9 May)
The operation, led by Anbar Operations Command, started at Naimiyah, close to Fallujah Dam, which was overrun and closed by ISIL, causing flooding around Fallujah and disrupting army’s line of communication. The MoD also said that government forces retook the control of the Tufaha Bridge in the first hours of the operation.
General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries, an anti-government tribal military council, said in social media that its members responded to the attack, inflicting losses against the government security forces and were launching a counter attack. (iswiraq, 9 May)