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Iraqi Forces Retake Parts Of Baghdadi

Iraqi forces continued their operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in the western town of Baghdadi, advancing from the south toward the center of the city.

The Iraqi military claimed to have to have killed at least 23 IS militants in fighting on February 25.

That number cannot be independently confirmed.

Officials said more military equipment and ammunition had arrived at the nearby Ayn al-Asab base as government forces prepared to launch the next assault to clear Baghdadi of IS militants.

France joined the battle in Iraq with warplanes from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, recently arrived in the Persian Gulf, hitting targets around the town of Abu Qaim near the border with Syria.

Kurdish forces also reported successes as they pressed an offensive in northeast Syria designed to cut the line of communications between IS forces in Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, some 1,000 Assyrian Christian families fled their villages in northeastern Syria after IS militants kidnapped at least 90 Christians in the area earlier this week.

With additional reporting by Reuters and AFP