With the Brexit fallout over the last couple of days, we almost missed a massive breakthrough in the battle against the so-called Islamic State.
One of its former strongholds in Iraq, Fallujah, has been declared ‘fully liberated’ from the terror organisation by the Iraq army commander leading the operation against them, The Independent reports.
The head of the counterterrorism forces in the operation, Lt Gen Abdul-Wahad al-Saadi, said earlier today that his troops had entered the last neighbourhood controlled by the jihadis, al-Julanhe.
Lt Gen al-Saadi said the operation, which began almost a month ago, ‘is done and the city is fully liberated’.
He told Iraqi state TV:
From the centre of al-Julan neighbourhood, we congratulate the Iraqi people and the commander in chief…and declare that the Fallujah fight is over.
The city of Fallujah – which is just 30 miles west of Iraqi capital Baghdad – has been under control of Daesh since January 2014 and was the first major city to fall to the group.
It’s believed more than 82,000 people have had to flee the area in recent weeks, with the Norwegian Refugee Council describing the conditions at a nearby refugee camp as a ‘humanitarian disaster’.
This isn’t the first time the area has become war-torn, with bloody conflicts between al-Qaeda and the American forces breaking out in 2004.
Isis still control large areas of northern and western Iraq, including its second city Mosul, but this is certainly a push in the right direction.