Masked Sunni gunmen chant slogans during a protest against Iraq's Shiite-led government, demanding that the Iraqi army not try to enter the city, in Falluja, 50 km (31 miles) west of Baghdad January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraq's prime minister vowed to uproot Al-Qaeda and said he was sure of victory as his army prepared to launch a major assault against Sunni Islamist militants in the city of Falluja.The United States said earlier this week it would fast-track deliveries of military hardware, including drones and missiles, to Iraq, but ruled out sending troops two years after Washington ended nearly a decade of occupation.The army deployed more tanks and artillery around Falluja on Tuesday as local leaders tried to persuade militants to leave in order to avert an impending offensive that has echoes of U.S. assaults on the same city in 2004 .
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