Shiite militiamen fire Islamic State group militants at the front line the in Saqlawiyah near Fallujah, Iraq, Friday, July 10, 2015. (AP Photo)
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Iraqi Shiite militia fighters are tightening a noose around the ISIS-held city of Fallujah west of Baghdad as the first stage of a counter-offensive in the Sunni province of Anbar, likely to determine the course of the conflict in coming months.Yasiri welcomed the militia's involvement, saying the army had struggled unsuccessfully for 18 months to contain Sunni insurgents in Anbar.Abadi and the army can also rely on U.S.-led air support, more closely coordinated since U.S. officers moved into a military base less than 15 kms from Fallujah and started overseeing training of Sunni tribal recruits there.Yasiri, the army colonel, said army operations in Anbar had been troubled from the start.While the army was forced on the defensive, militia leaders have moved into Anbar with their fighters.Former Gen. Jasim al-Bahadli said the army was not trained enough in guerrilla warfare to tackle ISIS.
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