>> Islamic states under mounting pressure in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah. Shiites militia on the ground and U.S forces in the air helping the advance. Reports suggest Iraqi troops waiting for the command to launch the final battle in a matter of days.
,000 civilians are trapped inside, with fears they could be used as human shields.
Expecting a blood bath, many fled IS controls or escaped through minefields. Relief as they reached the safety of Iraqi army controlled areas. Although the U.S. said Friday the IS commander of Fallujah and 70 others are dead, the battle is far from over. An estimated 500 to 700 IS loyalists are believed to be bunkering down for the fights.
A Shiite paramilitary found a network of tunnels in Anbar province, on the outskirts of Fallujah. Iraqi homes unearthed and turned to military use. When IS was driven from strong holds elsewhere, towns were left in ruin. Syrian refugees returned to homes reduced to rubble in Kobani.
Should the battle for Fallujah succeed, IS would be drawn back to its defacto capsule in Iraq of Mosul. This larger city has greater strategic importance.
battle to retake to Mosul therefore likely to be even more bloody.