FALLUJAH, Iraq, June 26 (UPI) — The Iraqi army has reportedly “fully liberated” the city of Fallujah from the grip of Islamic State.
Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, head of counterterrorism forces for the army, said troops entered the northwestern Golan area, which was the last neighborhood under IS control, BBC reported.
Al-Saadi said the city, located about 30 miles west of Baghdad was “fully liberated.”
IS launched a takeover of Fallujah in January 2014 and the Iraqi government launched an operation to retake the city in May.
The Iraqi government operation was backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops made up mostly of Shiite militias, Fox News reported.
“From the center of al-Julan neighborhood, we congratulate the Iraqi people and the commander in chief…and declare that the Fallujah fight is over,” Al-Saadi said on Iraqi state TV. Soldiers and other military officers surrounded him, with some of the soldiers shooting in to the air, waving their country’s flag and chanting.
Al-Saadi said troops will start working to remove bombs from the city, along streets and inside buildings.