Iraqi army takes govt buildings in Daesh-held Fallujah

Iraqi army takes govt buildings in Daesh-held Fallujah

Following clashes with Daesh militants, Iraqi troops hoist national flag over government buildings in central Fallujah

By Haydar Hadi

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi forces have retaken a number of government buildings in the Daesh-held city of Fallujah in Iraq’s western Anbar province, Iraqi officials confirmed on Friday.

In a statement, Abdel-Wahab al-Saadi, commander of army operations in Fallujah, said Iraqi forces had managed to secure the city’s prefecture building, police department, intelligence agency and main assembly building following clashes with Daesh militants.

Raed Shakir, a high-ranking Iraqi police official, told Anadolu Agency that army forces on Friday had hoisted the Iraqi national flag over the buildings.

The army operation to retake Fallujah from Daesh first began on May 23. The campaign involves army troops, counter-terrorism forces, federal police units, the Hashd al-Shaabi -- an umbrella of Iraqi Shia militias -- and armed tribesmen.

Located along the Euphrates River about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of capital Baghdad, Fallujah is believed to be home to some 90,000 residents.

Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.

According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

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