Islamic State militants struggled to hold ground on two fronts Sunday as Iraqi troops drove out pockets of resistance in Fallujah, while Syrian government forces pressed closer to the effective militant capital of Raqqa.
The military gains, however, have done little to improve the dire humanitarian crisis facing the region.
In Iraq, the Amiriyah Fallujah District Council said security forces had liberated more neighborhoods in northern Fallujah from Islamic State control, killing dozens of militants. District Council member Khodier al-Rashed told Iraqinews.com that security forces detonated multiple suicide bomb vehicles.
The gains were announced two days after elite Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, punched through Islamic State defenses in Fallujah, seizing the municipal compound and other buildings in the center of the city. The breakthrough brought momentum in the offensive that has raged for weeks, Iraqi officials said.
Caroline Gluck, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said refugee camps were overwhelmed in recent days as thousands of Fallujah families sought safety from the fighting.
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Image courtesy of iraqinews.com