Iraqi Forces Complete Buildup Around IS-Held Fallujah



Smoke rises from Islamic State group positions at the front line during fight against Islamic State outside Fallujah, Iraq, Saturday, May 28, 2016. Days into an Iraqi military operation to push Islamic State fighters out of Fallujah, residents still inside the city are preparing for a long battle, with some saying they fear being trapped between two forces they don't fully trust. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Smoke rises from Islamic State positions on the front line during battle outside Fallujah, Iraq, May 28. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Iraq’s special forces have completed a troop buildup around Fallujah ahead of an operation to retake the Islamic State-held city west of Baghdad.

Maj. Dhia Thamir, of the Special Forces Service, says the last battalion arrived at dawn Sunday at the sprawling Tariq Camp outside Fallujah. Thamir declined to comment on troop numbers or the timing of the expected assault.

Thamir says his troops have recaptured 80 percent of the territory around the city since the operation began a week ago.

Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad, is one of the last major IS strongholds in Iraq. The terror group still controls territory in the country’s north and west, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

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