Overnight, hundreds of Iraqi artillery shells struck Fallujah – just hours after the Iraqi Prime Minister said the army would begin preparations to liberate the city. More specifically, the shells targeted ISIS positions at the Sanaee Industrial Zone, the al-Dhubat district, the Golan neighbourhood and the Shuhada neighbourhood. Furthermore, Iraqi F-16 fighter jets targeted ISIS militants in the city overnight, carrying out tens of airstrikes.
Although the Iraqi Army is yet to enter Fallujah city itself, its troops are situated strategically around the Islamist stronghold, in some cases just a few kilometers away. With Fallujah fully encircled and besieged since December 2015, Islamic State forces have been barred from receiving reinforcements, ammunition and new arms for 6 months.