Iraqi Prime Minister declared Falluja freed of ISIS

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Fierce clashes broke out across Falluja, Iraq, on Friday leaders in the country declared the city free — for the most part — from the grips of ISIS militants.

“There are still pockets (of resistance) that will be cleared in the upcoming hours,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a televised address.

“Daesh is rapidly collapsing,” Anbar Gov. Sohaib Al-Rawi said on Twitter, using another name for ISIS. “We must now focus our efforts on a major humanitarian catastrophe still unfolding.”

The announcement came nearly four weeks after the start of a U.S.-backed offensive to liberate ISIS’ last major foothold in Anbar province.

During a televised address, the Prime Minister said Iraqi forces are now in control of Falluja’s city center, something Iraq hasn’t been able to claim in more than two years.

But U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was more cautious when asked Friday about Falluja.

“They are in control of a portion of the city. I think it’s too early to say all of the city,” Carter said.

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