Fighting to Retake Fallujah

A town 10 miles northeast of Fallujah is clear, Iraqi forces have the city “largely isolated,” and the US military has dropped leaflets warning civilians to avoid ISIS areas as the battle to retake the city got underway last week, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters Friday. The coalition had killed more than 70 enemy fighters in Fallujah as of Friday—including the commander of ISIS forces in Fallujah—and had launched 20 air strikes in the area in just four days. The loss of the commander won’t stop the enemy from fighting, Warren said, “but it’s a blow,” and creates confusion. It’s not clear how long the battle will last because it is still early, Warren said, but once Fallujah is “finally liberated and cleared of the enemy,” there will likely be an impact on the security in Baghdad. And though the focus now is in Fallujah, Warren said, Mosul “remains in our crosshairs.”