Iraq begins operation to free Falluja from ISIS

Iraq begins operation to free Falluja from ISIS

Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2016-05-23 11:12 Washington D.C: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on live television, the start of an operation to recapture the city of Falluja from the clutches of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. According to CNN, Abadi spoke on Iraqi state TV from the military's Joint Operations Command in Baghdad, saying that Iraqi security forces would provide safe passage for civilians to leave the city during the operation. This development came hours after Iraq's military asked the residents of ISIS-held Falluja to flee their homes ahead of the operation to gain back control of the metropolis from the terror group. "I am calling for citizens who are inside Falluja to leave their areas and head towards safe corridors. In the coming few days, the operations to liberate Falluja will be launched." military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul said on Iraqi TV. Iraqi planes have dropped thousands of leaflets -- safe passage cards -- on Falluja, according to a statement from Iraq's Joint Operations Command. Falluja, has been under ISIS control since January 2014 and the Human Rights Watch warned last month, that ISIS was barring civilians from leaving Falluja and that residents faced starvation due to food shortages and exorbitant prices after an extended siege. According to PMU statement, Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias known as Popular Mobilization Units safely evacuated 30 families who managed to escape the city. Meanwhile, families who are unable to flee the city have been told to raise a white flag above their homes and the military has also told families to call or text an emergency line to seek evacuation. (ANI)