Iraqi security forces managed to repel an attack by the ISIL terrorists in the city of Fallujah, Anbar province, a source said.
A senior Iraqi official, preferring anonymity, said that the army troops, backed by volunteer forces, pushed back the ISIL terrorists in Fallujah as they attempted to run over the city’s university with their arms-laden vehicles.
The latest developments came after the Iraqi army launched a major operation to recapture Anbar from the grip of the terrorists.
The army soldiers, backed by Shiite and Sunni volunteer forces, began Anbar’s operations early on Tuesday after a zero hour set by the country’s Ministry of Defense reached its end.
The second phase of the Iraqi popular forces’ operations codenamed Labaik Ya Rasoulollah 2 was kicked off on Monday to win back Northern Tikrit, capital of Salahuddin province, Southwest Samarra and Ramadi, capital of Anbar province.
“The second operation stretches towards Northern Tikrit to win back control of the remaining regions of the city and Southwest of Samarra; then the forces will head towards Ramadi,” Ain al-Araq News website quoted a statement by Iraqi popular forces as saying.
On March 1, about 27,000 popular and security forces started the first phase of Labaik Ya Rasoulollah military operations from several angles to take control of Tikrit and its suburban regions. They purged 97 regions and villages of ISIL terrorists and then continued to take control of main district of Tikrit and the rest of Salahuddin province.
In late March, the Iraqi army, backed by Shiite and Sunni volunteer forces, made a final push against the ISIL terrorists in Tikrit, and managed to fully liberate the Northern city from the control of the Takfiri group.
Some 30,000 Iraqi troops and thousands of allied Shiite and Sunni militias have been involved in a month-long operation to recapture Tikrit and other key towns and villages in the Northern part of Salahuddin province from the ISIL militants.
On Sunday, Iraqi popular forces announced that they were working on a detailed plan to take back the city of Ramadi.
“This plan has two phases; first adopting a special tactic to prevent ISIL’s sudden raid on specified areas, and secondly preparing for a massive attack to take back regions currently under ISIL’s control,” Iraqi Popular Forces Spokesman Karim al-Nouri told FNA.
Al-Nouri noted that the Iraqi popular forces are preparing for fresh military operations in Ramadi.
“The operations for regaining control of Al-Anbar is very similar to Salahuddin and Diyala mop-up operations, but with less complexity,” he said.
On Saturday, the Iraqi army dispatched five regiments of its rapid reaction forces to Al-Habaniyah military base in Eastern al-Ramadi in Anbar province to intensify the attack on the ISIL.
“The rapid reaction forces will join other army units and popular forces from al-Habaniyah to Khalediya in the campaign against the ISIL terrorists,” member of al-Anbar Governor’s Office Azal al-Fahdavi said.
ISIL Takfiris have recently taken over parts of Ramadi.
Popular Mobilization forces have been deployed to the city to fight the Takfiris. The volunteer groups who have joined the Iraqi army, were dispatched to Anbar after Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on them to join the fight to drive Takfiri militants out of Ramadi.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.