Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (front 2nd L) walks during his visit to an Iraqi army base in Camp Tariq near Falluja, Iraq, June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi expects two victories from the battle underway in Fallujah, a Daesh (ISIS) stronghold near Baghdad.The fear, Hassan said, is that a stalled battle in Fallujah will undermine the battle for Mosul or take a sectarian turn with the involvement of Shiite militias.The collapse of the Iraqi army when Daesh pushed into Mosul in June 2014 left Baghdad reliant for ground troops on Shiite militias, known as Al-Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization. But as the army has gained strength over the past year, it has led offensives on the insurgents, recapturing Ramadi, the capital of Sunni Anbar province, west of Baghdad.Shiite militias resent seeing their role diminished.Abadi has been keen to defuse sectarian tension as Sunni politicians have voiced alarm that the Shiite militias would seek to settle scores with the population of the city.The United Nations Tuesday said there were "extremely distressing, credible reports" of men and boys executed and abused after fleeing Fallujah into territory controlled by government forces and their Shiite militia allies.
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