Shi'ite fighters take a selfie while firing artillery towards Islamic State militants near Falluja, Iraq, May 29, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
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Elite Iraqi troops were poised Sunday to assault one of Daesh's (ISIS) most emblematic bastions, Fallujah, as the militants counter attacked in both Iraq and neighboring Syria.The week-old operation has so far focused on retaking villages and rural areas around Fallujah, which lies just 50 kilometers west of Baghdad.Ten hours into the operation, which was launched a day after a wave of 12 coalition airstrikes in the area, Kurdish forces had fully retaken three villages, it said.At least 29 civilians have been killed since Daesh began the assault in Aleppo province early Friday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
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