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Iraq forces push into streets of IS-held Fallujah

Fallujah is expected to give Iraqi forces one of their toughest battles yet but the Islamic State group has appeared weakened in recent months and has been losing territory consistently over the past yearIraqi forces thrust into Fallujah Monday, ushering a new urban phase in the week-old operation to retake the jihadist bastion that also raised concerns over the fate of trapped civilians. Led by the elite counter-terrorism service (CTS), Iraq’s best trained and most seasoned fighting unit, the forces pushed into Fallujah before dawn, commanders said. “Iraqi forces entered Fallujah under air cover from the international coalition, the Iraqi air force and army aviation, and supported by artillery and tanks,” said Lieutenant General Abdelwahab al-Saadi, the commander of the operation.

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