Iraqi Special Forces assaulted on Monday the Islamic State city of Fallujah, as the terror group killed at least 24 people in in two car bomb attacks. An estimated 50,000 civilians have been trapped in that city for more than 2 years. The U.S.-led coalition is offering aerial support to the Iraqi military.
Islamic State militants conducted on Monday a series of bombing strikes in Baghdad. More than 24 people died in the Shiite-dominated city, as a consequence of three different attacks. At least 40 people were wounded during the same incident.
The first attack occurred close by a commercial area, where a suicide bomber crashed a vehicle containing explosives, into a checkpoint. The event killed at least 11 people, including three soldiers. Another 14 were injured, said a police officer to The Associated Press (AP).
A second attack took place in the north of Baghdad, where a suicide bomber hit a market in the town of Tarmiyah. At least 10 people died there, including three police officers, while another 24 were wounded.
A third bomber killed three and injured 10, in a market located in the Shiite Sadr City district, after a bomb motorcycle exploded. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the strikes, as a reported by AP. The terror group said it attacked members of the Shiite militias.
PM Al-Abadi announces the launch of operations to liberate Fallujah pic.twitter.com/Mf0KN7MMoq
— Haider Al-Abadi (@HaiderAlAbadi) May 22, 2016
“Heroes in the counterterrorism forces, units of the Iraqi army and Anbar police” are heading towards Fallujah.
Iraqi military spokesman, Yahya Rasoul, said trough state media that there’s “heavy air cover from our heroes” in the Iraqi air force, and the coalition heading towards Fallujah. Iraqi government troops are attacking the edges of the city, before carrying out an attack on its center.
“There is heavy air cover from our heroes in the Iraqi air force and the coalition. With God’s blessing we have launched the third phase of the operation to storm the center of Fallujah, by our heroes in the counterterrorism forces, units of the Iraqi army and Anbar police,” Rasoul said, according to CNN.
Iraqi Maj. Dhia Thamir told AP reporters that troops had taken control of 80 percent of the territory surrounding Fallujah, on Sunday. He added that Iraqi counterterrorism forces are planning to strike the city from its southern part.
Islamic State forces are reportedly using snipers and mortar rounds against Iraqi troops, said Thamir. The city is among the strongest establishments of the terror group in western Iraq. It also controls regions in the north and west of the country, and Mosul city, which was occupied in 2014.
— Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) May 30, 2016
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Sunday at the parliament, that residents in Fallujah should abandon the city or remain indoors. The Norwegian Refugee Council calculates that just 3,000 people have been able to escape from the Islamic State-controlled city since 2014.
Hadi Al-Amri, the leader of the Iranian-backed militia, have said that “an obstacle delaying the assault on Fallujah” is the troop’s concern for civilians there.
“Our forces will do our most to protect them,” he added.
— RFE/RL (@RFERL) May 30, 2016
Source: The Associated Press