Earlier today, the Iraqi Armed Forces and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) confirmed that they had entered the Hayy Nazzal district, located at the very heart of Fallujah’s city centre.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army has secured the Naymiah neighborhood and Shuhada neighbourhood, thereby establishing full control over Fallujah’s southern districts.
Clashes are ongoing at the Nazzal district and Sanaee Industrial Zone, edging the Iraqi Armed Forces and PMU closer to the city’s northern and western neighbourhoods, which ISIS still controls.
According to a source in the PMU, a total of 72 ISIS fighters were killed during clashes in Fallujah’s urban districts both today and yesterday.
As in Palmyra, ISIS’s heavy use of mines, traps, and suicide attacks have slowed the advance of Iraqi forces through the city. The advance therefore comes at a high price for the Iraqi Army and PMU, with more than 1000 killed or injured since the Fallujah campaign began last month.
There continue to be unconfirmed accounts of sectarian killings by PMU fighters entering Fallujah, and some reports suggest that the Iraqi authorities are responding by clamping down on any forces found to be acting in a sectarian manner.