It's taken more than a month, but a top Iraqi commander declared on Sunday that The Islamic State (ISIS) had finally been driven out of Fallujah, reports the Associated Press.
Taking Fallujah back from ISIS is a big deal on many levels—including the fact it sets the stage for Iraqi forces supported by the United States and other allied nations to move on Mosul, which is still under terrorist control.
The AP reported that "Iraq's elite counterterrorism troops, Iraqi federal police, Anbar provincial police and an umbrella group of government- sanctioned militia fighters" made up the force that finally ejected ISIS after the vicious group's siege of the city, which began back in 2014.
The operation, which began May 22, "is done, and the city is fully liberated," al-Saadi said.
The wire service also noted that while one official said Fallujah is now about 90 percent "safe" for habitation, aid groups caution that civilians shouldn't be too quick to return, given intense summer heat as well as the likelihood of ISIS having left bombs in their wake.
In addition to Mosul, ISIS still has a stranglehold on the northwestern corner of Iraq, but this significant victory bodes well for future actions as Iraqi and coalition forces continue driving jihadis away from power centers they can use as a foothold.