In this Friday, July 17, 2015 photo, smoke rises after a bombing as Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite and Sunni pro-government fighters attack ISIS position in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 km) west of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo)
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Tens of thousands of trapped Iraqi civilians are running out of food and medicine in the western city of Fallujah, an ISIS stronghold under siege by security forces, according to local officials and residents.The Iraqi army, police and Iranian-backed Shiite militias – backed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition – late last year imposed a near total siege on Fallujah, located 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad in the Euphrates river valley. Fallujah – a long-time bastion of Sunni extremists – was the first Iraqi city to fall to ISIS, in January 2014, six months before the group that emerged from Al-Qaeda swept through large parts of northern and western Iraq and neighboring Syria.Spokesmen for the Iraqi army, police and Iranian-backed Shiite militias besieging Fallujah were not immediately available to comment.A Baghdad-based spokesman for the coalition did not rule out a similar operation in Fallujah but said ISIS's control of the city made it more challenging.
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