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Iraq special forces 3km from Fallujah centre


06-11-2016 12:36 BJT

Iraq's elite counterterrorism service has moved to within three kilometers of central Fallujah. The operation's commander said the forces have consolidated positions in the south of the city on Friday. And he said the efforts to retake one of ISIL's strongholds was progressing well.

"We are now in Hayakil area, just overlooking the Shuhada neighborhood. Our troops are at the frontline, on Street 40. We are currently three kilometers from the main official building in the city center and we will reach it very soon, God willing," said Abdelwahab Al-saadi, commander of Fallujah Operations.

Iraqi forces have been receiving air support from the US-led coalition. The operation to retake Fallujah was launched on May 22nd. Its first phase focused on sealing the siege of the city. The second phase is leading the forces to break into the urban center of Fallujah.

The forces' advance however has been slowed by concerns over the situation of tens of thousands of civilians in the city. But the operation's commander says they are meeting their goals. Meanwhile, more than 20-thousand people have reportedly fled Fallujah over the past three weeks.

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