Iraqi special forces today entered the center of the ISIS-held city of Fallujah, capturing a government compound in the area. Troops entered the city through the southern gate, and ISIS is still believed to dominate the northern half of the city.
The troops inside the city say they believe a significant ISIS presence remains, and say that they are “besieging the central hospital” in hopes that it’ll chase some ISIS fighters out of hiding, apart from the northern half of the city.
After taking one compound with little fighting, and no sign of the couple thousand ISIS fighters that were said to be in the city, Prime Minister Hayder Abadi announced total victory, declaring the “liberation of the cit6y except for small pockets that need to be cleared in the coming hours.”
Iraqi Gen. Talib Shanghati Mshari al-Kenani was less optimistic, saying he believes ISIS will carry out large amounts of suicide bombings and continuing fighting in the city to the last man. He claimed openness to letting ISIS fighters flee north toward Mosul instead of engaging in urban warfare, but doubted ISIS would flee. Either way, this is hardly tracking with the claims of total victory.