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Iraqi forces entered ISIL-held Fallujah, one of the terrorist group’s key strongholds in Iraq after completing a troop buildup around the city, officials told media on Monday.
“The operation to enter Fallujah began on Monday morning,” an Iraqi official told journalists who entered the city with the Iraqi security forces, RT reported.
The Iraqi military officer said the government’s military units began advancing in the city of Fallujah, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, with explosions and heavy gunfire reportedly heard in Fallujah’s Southern Naimiyah district.
Iraqi government-led forces launched an offensive to dislodge ISIL militants from Fallujah a week ago, and have been slicing through ISIL positions ever since.
Iraqi security forces repeated calls for civilians in Fallujah to flee on May 22, but locals say they have been unable to escape, as they are used as human shields by the mercenary-terrorist gangs of Daesh.