The Iraqi government has reported the successful “liberation” of the Anbar Province town of Karma, just northeast of the major ISIS-held city of Fallujah, with Prime Minister Hayder Abadi congratulating all involved in the successful operation.
This may, as with previous Iraqi offensives, be a premature declaration of victory, however, as locals warned that there is ongoing fighting in the western parts of Karma, and that small pockets of ISIS resistance remain in the area.
Iraqi forces have made several attempted pushes into Karma over the past year, and while it may be incomplete this is the first one that seems at all close to successfully recovering the town. This is, of course, just the first stop in a military offensive aimed at the large city of Fallujah,.
Fallujah itself has been under ISIS control since January of 2014, and is the major ISIS city closest to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The neighboring city of Ramadi was retaken by Iraqi forces earlier this year, though the offensive largely destroyed Ramadi, and civilians have mostly still not been able to return.