Iraqi army tells Fallujah residents to flee city

As preparations are made for likely assault on ISIL-held city, residents asked to leave through secured routes.

    Iraq's army has told residents of Fallujah to get ready to leave before what may be an attempt to take the city back from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, state TV said.

    Families who cannot leave should raise white flags to mark their locations, the army's media unit said, according to a broadcast on Sunday.

    Fallujah was the first Iraqi city to fall to ISIL (also known as ISIS) in January 2014, six months before the group swept through large parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

     Iraqi army tells Fallujah residents to flee city

    The army "is asking the citizens that are still in Fallujah to be prepared to leave the city through secured routes that will be announced later", the channel said.

    The city on the Euphrates River, 50km west of the capital, had a prewar population of about 300,000.

    It is encircled by Iraqi forces and a coalition of Shia Muslim armed groups known as Hashid Shaabi.

    Known as the "City of Minarets and Mother of Mosques", Fallujah is a focus for Sunni Muslim faith and identity in Iraq. It was badly damaged in two offensives by US forces against suspected al-Qaeda fighters in 2004.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.