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Iraqi Forces Secure Southern Edge Of Fallujah

Iraqi security forces say they have seized the southern edge of the city of Fallujah in a push by the government to recapture the stronghold of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group.

Lieutenant General Abdel Wahab al-Saadi said on June 5 that his forces are prepared to enter Fallujah after they secured the Naymiyah neighborhood south of the main city.

Fallujah became the first city in Iraq captured by IS forces when it fell in January 2014.

Iraqi forces, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition and backing from Shi'ite militias, launched the offensive to retake Fallujah two weeks ago but have faced heavy resistance from IS fighters and concerns about the presence of some 50,000 civilians there.

The city is one of the last strongholds in Iraq for IS forces, which also control the country's second-largest city, Mosul.

Al-Saadi added that IS fighters battling elite Iraqi forces on Fallujah's southern edge on June 5 were offering "some resistance" but "a little less than in previous days."

He said that police forces on the northern edge of Fallujah were nearing the train station but had yet to reach the city limits.

Based on reporting Reuters and AFP