Iraqi pro-government forces take part in a major operation against Islamic State (IS) group fighters to retake the town and areas around Saadiyah northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province on November 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ YOUNIS AL-BAYATI
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Iraqi forces said Sunday they had retaken two towns north of Baghdad from ISIS fighters, driving them from strongholds they had held for months and clearing a main road from the capital to Iran.There was no independent confirmation that the army, Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga forces had completely retaken Jalawla and Saadiya, about 115 km northeast of Baghdad. "We have liberated Jalawla and Saadiya," said Mala Bakhtiar, a senior official in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, speaking by phone from a nearby town. He estimated 50 ISIS fighters had been killed out of a force of 400 .On the Anbar front, Iraqi forces focused their offensive on the provincial capital of Ramadi, backed by Sunni tribal fighters that the U.S. plans to arm.The Pentagon document also detailed $1.24 billion to be spent on Iraqi forces and $354.8 million on Kurdish troops.
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