Iraq Begins Siege on Fallujah

Iraqi forces on Monday began a major offensive on the ISIS-held city of Fallujah, using US-led airstrikes to kick off a harsh battle against the group that has held the city since January 2014. US airstrikes began pounding the city on Sunday, hitting a weapons facility, improvised weapons factory, three bunkers, and two tunnel entrances, US Central Command announced. The ground operation to “tear down the black flags of these despicable strangers” who took the city, is being led by Iraqi forces, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera. Some US military leaders have said Iraqi forces were moving too slowly to retake the city and lacked capability. However, CENTCOM Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel said during a weekend visit to Iraq the country’s army is “achieving objectives that they set out to attain here.”