Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a televised address Iraq will launch a military offensive to retake the Islamic State-held held city of Fallujah, located west of Baghdad. The city, which the U.S. spent much blood and treasure to capture from Islamic militants, fell to ISIS in January 2014, when President Barack Obama called them the “jayvee” team.
In a televised address late Sunday night, Prime Minister al-Abadi said Iraqi forces are “approaching a moment of great victory” against the Islamic State group.
The announcement comes after Iraqi troops made territorial gains against ISIS, most recently the capture of the western town of Rutba, which is located 240 miles west of Baghdad, on the edge of Anbar province. Fallujah is about 40 miles west of Baghdad.
However, ISIS still controls significant swathes of Iraqi territory, mostly in the country’s northern and western regions. That territory includes Mosul, the country’s second largest city.