Iraq: Army launches assault against ISIL in Fallujah
May 30, Fallujah: Iraqi special forces launched an assault one of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group's most emblematic bastions, Fallujah, as the group counter-attacked in both Iraq and neighbouring Syria, reports said.
Quoting commanders, agencies confirmed the assault was launched in the early hours of Monday morning. Troops entered the city from three directions.
Explosions and gunfire could be heard in Fallujah's southern Naimiya district, Reuters reported.
Fighting on Monday followed battles a day earlier that prompted a new exodus of thousands of desperate civilians from the surrounding areas and deep concern for the many more trapped in the battlegrounds.
The overall commander of the Fallujah operation, Abdelwahab al-Saadi, had earlier warned that the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) would enter the city.
The week-old operation has so far focused on retaking villages and rural areas around Fallujah, which lies just 50 kilometres west of Baghdad.
CTS's involvement will mark the start of a phase of urban combat in a city where US forces in 2004 fought some of their toughest battles since the Vietnam War.
The Oslo Times