Several days after Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi announced that the Fallujah offensive was being put on hold, Iraqi military officials continue to insist that they are winning a sweeping victory in the city, and that full liberation is just “days” away.
“In the coming days we will declare the liberation of Fallujah,” insisted Lt. Gen. Saadi, while Iraqi Joint Operations Command issued a statement claiming ISIS was putting car bombs inside houses across the city, and plans to blow those cars up, inside those houses, when troops enter.
Officials had previously indicated, repeatedly, that the troops were at the southern edge of Fallujah and wouldn’t enter until all of the civilians were safely out. Some 50,000 civilians are estimated to be in the city, with the few that have escaped facing torture by pro-government militias.
Lt. Gen. Saadi’s comments claimed that the offensive was still ongoing and troops were entering into southern Fallujah, a claim which is contradicted not only by the PM’s order pausing it, but the Badr Brigade’s leadership, which has criticized the lack of progress in the battle.
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