By Simon Kent.
Iraq's PM Haider al Abadi has announced that a major battle to retake Fallujah from ISIS has begun. The town fell under the control of the terrorists in January 2014, after security deteriorated following months of Sunni protests against the government of Nouri al Maliki. Protesters accused Maliki of rounding up hundreds of innocent men at a time following bombings, and cutting Sunnis out of public life.
Since the ISIS takeover, most Sunnis in the town have fled, and less than 60,000 of the town's 300,000 inhabitants are thought to remain. Incredibly, Sunni fighters from the Albu Issa and Albu Jumailat tribes are fighting alongside the government to re-take the town. With them are thousands of Shi'a paramilitary fighters in the "Hashd al Shaabi," the Iraqi army, and 20,000 Federal Police.
An Iraqi army spokesman has also confirmed that the Coalition will provide air support.
(Source: The Washington Post)