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Iraqi forces pound IS on Day Two of Falluja offensive

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 01:16

Iraqi forces are shelling Islamic State targets in Falluja on the second day of an assault to retake the militant stronghold just west of Baghdad. Mana Rabiee reports.

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(fighting among palm trees) It's day two of an offensive to retake Falluja. Iraqi government forces are amassing on the city's outskirts, pounding Islamic State targets, both near Falluja and in the heart of the city itself. (nice color satellite images) An Iraqi army spokesman tells Reuters the U.S.-led coalition is providing air power for support, as the Iraqi air force strikes IS targets on the ground. (nats troops and fighting) The city sits just a half hour's drive from Baghdad and is widely seen in mostly Shi'ite Iraq as a bulwark of Sunni Muslim militancy. Some 100,000 civilians are still thought to be living in Falluja and international concern is mounting for their safety during the offensive. The U.N. says women and children have already died while trying to leave the city, and residents say snipers are positioned along exit routes, making escape difficult or deadly. The U.N. and the international Red Cross are appealing to the warring parties to protect civilians. Many there are already suffering under shortages of food, water and medicine and NOW they may be at risk of being used as human shields.

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Iraqi forces pound IS on Day Two of Falluja offensive

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 01:16