ISIS Abandons Fallujah; 52 Killed in Iraq
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared
victory in Fallujah on Friday, even though there is still fighting
left to do. Troops were able to reach the center of the city and raise the
Iraqi flag at a government building. Witness say the militants announced over
loudspeakers that civilians were free to go and then recalled fighters from
checkpoints. Thousands of refugees began
the journey. Some civilians were allowed
to leave only if they took the militants’ families with them.
General Talib Shaghati Mshari al-Kenani, head of
Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service, said
that he believes fleeing militants were likely on their way to Mosul, where
they may face great resistance. The general is in contact with civilians inside
Mosul who are preparing for an internal uprising when security forces finally
reach the city.
At least 52 were killed and eight more were wounded:
At least two
refugees were killed by a mine while trying to leave Fallujah.
In Baghdad, security forces killed
three militants and wounded two more.
Clashes in Sinjar left 18
militants were killed in airstrikes on Mosul.
Strikes left 13
militants dead in Qayara.