Iraqi Forces Liberate Fallujah from ISIS

Iraqi forces have completely cleared the city of Fallujah, liberating the group’s last stronghold in the Anbar province. Iraqi Counterterrorism Forces, supported by federal police and other allied groups, cleared the city over the weekend. US-led coalition aircraft provided about 100 total airstrikes through the clearing process. “The operation in Fallujah has been a significant challenge for the [Iraqi Security Force] and for the coalition,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “It will not be the last. Hard fighting remains ahead, as does the vital task of caring for the residents of Fallujah displaced by ISIL’s violence and beginning to rebuild the city so that its people may safely return.” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Iraqi forces are now pushing north to the city of Qayyarah, and eventually on to the ISIS-held city of Mosul. There will still be pockets of remaining ISIS fighters to be cleared out of the city, along with work to rid the city of improvised explosive devices, Davis said. (See also: Fallujah Fight Moving Quicker Than Expected.)