Iraqi troops poised to ‘retake’ Falluja from ISIS

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By Nourideen Hameed

Azzaman, June 3, 2014

Iraqi troops are ready for a final assault to storm the strategic town of Falluja, stilly occupied by an Iraq-based Jihadist group, said a senior member of the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense.

Iskander Wattot said troops supported by tanks and artillery had surrounded the city and fighting was raging between militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and some army battalions which had already entered a few of Falluja’s residential quarters.

“The army has managed in the past few days to liberate some areas in Falluja,” Wattot said. “The troops, assisted by armed tribesmen, have spread their control over these areas after liquidating terrorists.”

“The army is waiting for an order from the commander-in-chief, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, for a final attack on Falluja,” he added.

Wattot said tribes in the Province of Anbar, of which Falluja is a provincial town, “are standing steadfastly alongside the armed forces when they discovered that ISIS was a terrorist organization.”

“The armed forces are ready to storm Falluja and they are just awaiting orders from the commander-in-chief to enter it,” he added.

Meanwhile, scores of civilians were killed or wounded among them children as a result of the ongoing fighting in Falluja.

The state-run hospital in the town received yesterday 22 bodies, among them five women and two children, as well as 36 others who were wounded from indiscriminate shelling, a hospital spokesperson said.

Ahmad al-Shami said since Falluja fell to ISIS nearly three months ago, the hospital has been receiving a steady flow almost on daily bases of residents either killed or injured in the fight.

The hospital currently suffers from shortages of both staff and medical supplies.