Iraq army takes last Islamic State stronghold in Fallujah

 Iraq-army-takes-last-Islamic-State-stronghold-in-Fallujah. FALLUJAH, Iraq,  The Iraqi army has reportedly “fully liberated” the city of Fallujah from the grip of Islamic State.

Iraq-army-takes-last-Islamic-State-stronghold-in-Fallujah
Soldiers of Iraqi government forces flash victory signs after recapturing the town Zankoura from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, northwest of Ramadi, in Anbar province, June 16, 2016. A similar celebration took place Sunday when the Iraqi army declared it had freed Falluah of Islamic State. Photo by Abbas Mohammed /UPI | License Photo

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, head of counterterrorism forces for the army, said troops entered the northwestern Golan area, which was the last neighborhood under IS control, BBC reported. Al-Saadi said the city, located about 30 miles west of Baghdad was “fully liberated.”

IS launched a takeover of Fallujah in January 2014 and the Iraqi government launched an operation to retake the city in May.

The Iraqi government operation was backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops made up mostly of Shiite militias, Fox News reported.

“From the center of al-Julan neighborhood, we congratulate the Iraqi people and the commander in chief…and declare that the Fallujah fight is over,” Al-Saadi said on Iraqi state TV. Soldiers and other military officers surrounded him, with some of the soldiers shooting in to the air, waving their country’s flag and chanting.

Al-Saadi said troops will start working to remove bombs from the city, along streets and inside buildings.

By Yvette C. Hammett

UPI NEWS