Egypt praises Iraqi forces retake of Fallujah from IS group

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Jun 2016

Cairo welcomes the advances made against the Islamic State group in Fallujah; calls for continued reform to end polarisation

A member of the Iraqi counter terrorism forces inspects collapsed buildings in Fallujah's southern Shuhada neighbourhood after Iraqi government forces retook the area from the Islamic State (IS) group on June 18, 2016 (AFP)

Egypt's foreign ministry welcomed Saturday the retaking by Iraqi forces of Fallujah, an Islamic State (IS) group bastion.

In an official statement, Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid praised "the important step in the road of defeating terrorism in Iraq and restoring security and stability in all its lands."

Abu Zeid added that Egypt was looking forward to the continued efforts by the Iraqi army and government to fight terrorism and eliminate the terrorist IS group.

The Egyptian spokesman said that Egypt was also aspiring to see the Iraqi government resume the political reform programme to promote the state and its sovereignty and preserve the unity of Iraq by ending polarisation.

On Friday, AFP reported that Iraqi forces raised the national flag over the main government compound in Fallujah, a breakthrough in the nearly four-week-old offensive against the IS group stronghold.

According to Iraq's federal police chief, "Iraqi forces have now liberated 70 percent of the city."

The government lost control of Fallujah in 2014, months before the IS group took a second city, Mosul, and swept across large parts of the country.

The group's loss of control of Fallujah, which lies just 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad, leaves Mosul as the only major Iraqi city under its control.

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