Iraqi troops tar­get ISIS

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Iraq’s spe­cial forces com­pleted a troop buildup around Fal­lu­jah last night ahead of an op­er­a­tion to re­take the ISIS-held city west of Baghdad, a mil­i­tary of­fi­cer said, as the mil­i­tants at­tacked a newly lib­er­ated town to the west.

Team­ing up with para­mil­i­tary troops and backed by aerial sup­port from the US-led coali­tion, the gov­ern­ment launched a l a rg e - s c a l e of­fen­sive to dis­lodge ISIS mil­i­tants from Fal­lu­jah a week ago.

The city, lo­cated about 65km west of Baghdad, is one of the last ma­jor ISIS strongholds in Iraq. The ex­trem­ist group still con­trols ter­ri­tory in the coun­try’s north and west, in­clud­ing Mo­sul, Iraq’s se­cond largest city.

The last bat­tal­ion from Iraq’s Spe­cial Forces Ser­vice ar­rived at dawn yes­ter­day at the sprawl­ing Tariq Camp out­side Fal­lu­jah, said Ma­jor Dhia Thamir.

“I’m to­tally ready for it,” said soldier Ali Al Shim­mari as he cleared his weapon and checked his Humvee at the camp. “I phoned my fam­ily in the morn­ing and asked them to pray for me to get back safe to them,” he added.

“I’m de­ter­mined to end Daesh,” Al Shim­mari con­tin­ued.

The mil­i­tants meanwh i le launched an at­tack yes­ter­day on the town of Hit, 140km west of Ba g h d a d , which was re­cap­tured by gov­ern­ment troops last month.

A mil­i­tary of­fi­cer said the ex­trem­ists en­tered three neigh­bour­hoods and were en­gaged in heavy clashes with Iraqi forces backed by US-led airstrikes.

By late af­ter­noon, the forces had man­aged to push the mil­i­tants out.

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