Iraqi pro-government forces and Shiite fighters from the Popular Mobilisation units fire rockets from the village of al-Azraqiyah towards ISIS positions in the city of Fallujah, on June 4, 2016. AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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An Iraqi paramilitary organisation dominated by Tehran-backed militias is willing to send forces into Fallujah if efforts to retake the city are too slow, its top commander said on Sunday.Iraqi forces launched a vast offensive on May 22-23 against Fallujah, which lies only 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad and is one of the Islamic State group's main bastions.The Hashed al-Shaabi militias have since the start of the operation confined their action to Fallujah's outskirts and left elite federal forces to conduct breaching operations.Hashed and other forces have almost completely surrounded the city, where Mohandis said 2,500 IS fighters are still holed up.Hadi al-Ameri, head of the Tehran-backed Badr organisation whose armed wing is one of Iraq's most powerful militias, has repeatedly stressed that Hashed forces should not enter central Fallujah.It was retaken by government forces early this year after falling to IS in May 2015 .
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