Activists in Fallujah support Iraqi forces in operations against ISIS in western Anbar

Activists in the city of Fallujah have organised an event in support of the Iraqi forces’ operations to liberate the whole of Anbar province from ISIS. Fallujah itself is located in the easternmost part of Anbar province, close to the capital, Baghdad.

The event send a message of solidarity to the Iraqi forces and the civilian population in the western parts of Anbar, which are currently the main strongholds left for ISIS in the whole of Iraq. The youth participating in the festival have affirmed their stance against the extremist ideology of ISIS and put emphasis on the unity of the country’s diverse population.

Operations in western Anbar are currently focused on the liberation of the cities of Rawa and al-Qaim, very close to the border with Syria.

Iraqi forces have made considerable gains against ISIS in western Anbar since last Thursday, when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of operations to liberate the area.

According to the International Coalition, which is supporting the Iraqi forces in their endeavours against the so-called Islamic State, 33 locations and 3 main roads were liberated yesterday on day four of operations.

The Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), which are also taking part in the offensive alongside the Anbar Operations Command, Jazira Operations Command, Sunni Tribal Forces and four battalions of the local police, announced that the Iraq-Syria border south of al-Qa’im has largely been captured.

This will allow the joint forces to make their first forays into the ISIS-held border town, which has been controlled by the group since August 2014.

The liberation of al-Qa’im and Rawa will all but end ISIS’ presence in Iraq. The group still maintains a presence in the Anbar desert, although the PMU intend to cleanse these areas of militants within the framework of the current operations.

Following their defeat in Iraq, ISIS will be left will a small patch of territory east of Deir ez-Zour in Syria, although this area is also declining daily.

Image: Haaretz