Islamic extremism has been defined by the British government as any form of Islam that opposes "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs". Related terms include Islamism. On the other hand, many oppose the use of the term, fearing it could "de-legitimize" the Islamic faith in general; some have criticized political rhetoric that associates non-violent Islamism with terrorism under the rubric of "extremism". The UK High Courts have ruled in two cases on Islamic extremism, provided definition. Aside from those, two major definitions have been offered for Islamic extremism, sometimes using overlapping but distinct aspects of extreme interpretations and pursuits of Islamic ideology: The use of violent tactics such as bombing and assassinations for achieving perceived Islamic goals An conservative view of Islam, which does not entail violence. There are two UK High Court cases. May 2016: An Appeal from the Crown Court and Central Criminal Court: several individuals' cases considered together.
October 2016: In which the Judge concluded that Imam Shakeel Begg is an Islamic Extremist, does not uphold Begg's claim that the BBC had libelled him by saying so. The judge refers to several grounds: section 20 of the 2006 Act. Begg, a prominent Muslim public figure and Imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre since 1998 lost his 2016 court case of Libel against the BBC; this case is noteworthy because the judge lists a 10-point definition of Islamic extremism that he used to determine the case: In Charles Haddon-Cave's findings he wrote: Extremist Islamic positions 118. In my view, the following constitute "extremist" Islamic positions. First, a'Manichean' view of the world. A total, eternal'Manichean' worldview is a central tenet of violent Islamic extremism, it divides the world into'Us' versus'Them': those who are blessed or saved on the one hand and those who are to be damned for eternity on the other. For violent Islamic extremists, the "wrong kind" of Muslim includes moderate Sunni Muslims, all Shia Muslims, many others who are "mete for the sword" and can be killed, anyone who associates or collaborates" with them...
Second, the reduction of jihad to qital... Third, the ignoring or flouting of the conditions for the declaration of armed jihad, i.e. the established Islamic doctrinal conditions for the declaration of armed combat set out above... Fourth, the ignoring or flouting of the strict regulations governing the conduct of armed jihad, i.e. the stipulations in the Qur'an and the Sunna for the ethics of conducting qital set out above. Thus, the use of excessive violence, attacks on civilians, indiscriminate'suicide' violence and the torture or the murder of prisoners would constitute violation of these regulations of jihad... Fifth, advocating armed fighting in defence of Islam as a universal individual religious obligation... Sixth, any interpretation of Shari'a that required breaking the'law of the land'... Seventh, the classification of all non-Muslims as unbelievers... Eighth, the extreme Salafist Islamism doctrine that the precepts of the Muslim faith negate and supersede all other natural ties, such as those of family and nation...
Ninth, the citing with approval the fatwa of Islamic scholars who espouse extremist view... Tenth, any teaching which, expressly or implicitly, encourages Muslims to engage in, or support, terrorism or violence in the name of Allah. According to some contemporary Muslim commentators, extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites. From their political position, they developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shiʿa Muslims; the Kharijites were noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death. Some of the proponents of Islam emphasise peaceful political processes, whereas Sayyid Qutb in particular called for violence, those followers are considered Islamic extremists and their stated goal is Islamic revolution with the intent to force implementation of Sharia law and/or an Islamic State Caliphate. There are over 120 such groups active today.
Below is a list of major groups active. Attacks by Islamic extremists in Bangladesh Islamic extremism in Northern Nigeria Islamic extremism in the 20th-century Egypt Islamic fundamentalism Islamic terrorism Islamic extremism in Mali Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Jihadist extremism in the United States Category:Jihadist groups List of battles and other violent events by death toll List of Islamist terrorist attacks List of thwarted Islamist terrorist attacks Religious fanaticism#Islam Violent extremism Quotations related to Islamic extremism at Wikiquote
The Gozarto Protection Force and Sootoro, united as one organisation, are a regional militia based in Qamishli, Al-Hasakah Governorate, composed of members of the local an ethnic Assyrian/Syriac and some Armenian communities, founded after the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War that began in 2011. Sootoro claims to be affiliated with the Civil Peace Committee for Syriac Orthodox; the Qamishli Sootoro is aligned with the Ba'athist government of Bashar Assad. The Qamishli Sootoro should not be confused with the Sutoro police force which has the same name in the Syriac language, but uses the English translation "Syriac Protection Office" and the transliteration and a different emblem; the Sutoro is associated with the Syriac Union Party and integrated in the administration of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. In February 2013, the Qamishli branch of the Sutoro began open operations in the Christian neighbourhood of Wusta, located near the city centre and has an Assyrian/Syriac majority with a significant Armenian minority.
Though it was organised by the Syriac Union Party, the Qamishli militia was subsequently brought under the control of a so-called "peace committee" composed of several Christian organisations from the city. The SUP soon lost all influence on this group, which became seen by many SUP members as being controlled by agents of the Syrian government. In late 2013, the split between this branch and the rest of the Sutoro became clear. Now transliterating its name as "Sootoro", the militia in Qamishli adopted an different logo and started asserting a separate identity. In November, the media office of the Qamishli Sootoro stated that it operated in the city of Qamishli and had not formed branches anywhere else, furthermore accusing militias outside the city of having appropriated their name. By December, the group was explicitly disavowing any connection to the SUP in their press releases. Though it continues to claim neutrality, the Qamishli Sootoro has become a pro-government militia. Members of the group are shown next to government flags and portraits of Bashar al-Assad in visual media, flags bearing its distinct logo have been seen at pro-Assad rallies in the government-controlled sector of the city.
Qamishli is one of the last places in northeast where government forces, having been pushed out of most of Hasakah Governorate by either rebel groups or the Kurdish-autonomist forces of the YPG, still maintain some presence. The Kurds control Kurdish populated districts of Qamishli, while Arab and Assyrian loyalist forces remain in majority-Arab and Assyrian districts in the south the city centre, the border crossing to Turkey, Qamishli Airport, an army base on the southern outskirts; the assertion of loyalist control over the Qamishli militia has been identified as a potential effort by the government to strengthen its position in the city by expanding and solidifying its shrunken territorial holdings. Rashid, Bedir Mulla. Military and Security Structures of the Autonomous Administration in Syria. Translated by Obaida Hitto. Istanbul: Omran for Strategic Studies. Syriac Military Council Khabour Guards Sutoro
The Sinjar massacre was the genocidal killing and abduction of thousands of Yazidi men in Sinjar city and Sinjar District in Iraq's Nineveh Governorate by the Islamic terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in August 2014. This event started with ISIL attacking and capturing Sinjar and neighboring towns on 3 August, during ISIL's offensive in early August 2014. Dr Noori Abdulrahman, head of the Department of Coordination and Follow-up of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, stated that ISIL's 3 August campaign against Sinjar was more about demography and strategy than about religion. According to Abdulrahman, ISIL wanted to push most of the Kurds out of strategic Yazidi areas and bring in Arabs, obedient to ISIL. On 8 August 2014, the United States reacted with airstrikes on ISIL units and convoys in northern Iraq, which led to a war of several countries against ISIL; the assistance of PKK and YPG enabled the majority of the 50,000 Yazidis who fled into the Sinjar Mountains to be evacuated.
On 17 December 2014, the Kurdish Peshmerga, PKK and YPG forces started the December 2014 Sinjar offensive with the support of US airstrikes. This offensive broke ISIS's troop transport routes and supply lines between of the largest cities ISIS controlled in Iraq and Syria at the time and Raqqa. Sinjar was predominantly inhabited by Yazidis before the ISIL takeover. On 29 June 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant declared itself a caliphate in areas of Syria and Iraq, took control of significant territories in northern Iraq. While Iraqi federal military forces fled from the advancing ISIL troops, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters took control of a wide territory in northern Iraq; as ISIL attacked Sinjar and neighboring cities, at least 7,000 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Sinjar withdrew, leaving the civilians behind without warning. The villagers defended themselves with their own weapons, but ISIL fighters shelled them with mortars. By 3 a.m. ISIL fighters had broken through, began killing anyone seen outdoors.
On the morning of 3 August 2014, ISIL forces captured the city of Sinjar as well as the Sinjar area. ISIL destroyed a Shiite Zainab shrine in Sinjar, executed resisters, demanded the residents to swear allegiance or be killed. In the surrounding villages, many residents fled immediately. According to Yazidis, ISIL fighters asked the remaining Yazidis to convert to Islam or face death, ISIL Twitter accounts posted images of murders in the Sinjar area. 200,000 civilians Yazidis along with Shia, managed to flee from the fighting in Sinjar city. About 50,000 Yazidis fled into the Sinjar Mountains, where they were trapped without food, water or medical care and faced starvation and dehydration; the U. S. government, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Western media reported that thousands of Yazidis in the Sinjar Mountains were under siege by ISIL. Tahseen Said, the emir of the Yazidis, issued an appeal to world leaders on 3 August 2014, asking for humanitarian help to aid those who were besieged by ISIL. On 4 August, Kurdish fighters battled ISIL to retake Sinjar.
On 7 August 2014 The New York Times reported that ISIL had executed dozens of Yazidi men in Sinjar city and had taken their wives for forced marriage. It was reported that ISIL fighters executed ten caretakers of the Shia Sayeda Zeinab shrine in Sinjar before blowing it up. While the siege of Mount Sinjar was continuing, ISIL killed hundreds of Yazidis in at least six of the nearby villages. 250–300 men were killed in the village of Hardan, 200 between Adnaniya and Jazeera, 70–90 in Qiniyeh, on the road out of al-Shimal witnesses reported seeing dozens of bodies. Hundreds of others had been killed for refusing to convert to Islam. On 15 August 2014, in the Yazidi village of Kojo, south of Sinjar, over 80 men were killed after refusing to convert to Islam. A witness recounted that the villagers were first converted under duress, but when the village elder refused to convert, all of the men were taken in trucks under the pretext of being led to Sinjar, gunned down along the way. According to reports from survivors interviewed by OHCHR, on 15 August, the entire male population of the Yazidi village of Kojo, up to 400 men, were rounded up and shot by ISIL, up to 1,000 women and children were abducted.
On the same day, up to 200 Yazidi men were executed for refusing conversion in a Tal Afar prison. The massacres took place at least until 25 August when ISIL executed 14 elderly Yazidi men in Sheikh Mand Shrine in Jidala, western Sinjar, blew up the shrine there. A civilian reported that on 3 August 2014 alone, 2000 Yazidis had been killed throughout the Sinjar District. A Yazidi member of the Council of Representatives of Iraq said that between 2 and 5 August, 500 Yazidi men had been killed in the city of Sinjar by ISIL, women had been killed or sold into slavery, 70 children had died from thirst or suffocation while fleeing the ISIL advance. From the findings of a joint October 2014 report of the OHCHR and UNAMI, ISIL had massacred up to 5000 Yazidi men during August 2014; the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government estimated in December 2014 that the total number of killed or missing Yazidi men and children from Sinjar since August amounted to around 4000. A 2017 report by the PLOS Medical Journal estimated between 2,100 and 4,400 deaths and 4,200 and 10,800 abductions.
40,000 or more Yazidis were trapped in the Sinjar Mountains and surrounded by ISIL forces who were firing on them. They were without food, water or medical care, facing starvation and dehydration. On 5 August 2014, Iraqi military helicopters dropped some food and water for the Yazidis in the mountains; the US began their own supply drops on 7 August and the UK participated 3 days later. French aid was also
Syrian Democratic Forces
The Syrian Democratic Forces abbreviated to SDF, HSD, QSD, is an alliance in the Syrian Civil War comprised of Kurdish and Assyrian/Syriac militias, as well as some smaller Turkmen and Chechen forces. The SDF is militarily led by the People's Protection Units, a Kurdish militia. Founded in October 2015, the SDF states its mission as fighting to create a secular and federal Syria; the updated December 2016 constitution of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria names the SDF as its official defence force. The primary opponents of the SDF are the various Islamist and Arab nationalist rebel groups involved in the civil war, in particular the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups, al-Qaeda affiliates, their allies; the SDF has focused on ISIL driving them from important strategic areas, such as Al-Hawl, Tishrin Dam, Manbij, al-Tabqah, Tabqa Dam, Baath Dam, ISIL's former capital of Raqqa. In March 2019 the SDF announced the total defeat of ISIS in Syria with the SDF taking control of the opponent's stronghold in Baghuz.
The establishment of the SDF was announced on 11 October 2015 during a press conference in al-Hasakah. The alliance built on longstanding previous cooperation between the founding partners. While the People's Protection Units and the Women's Protection Units had been operating throughout the regions of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, the other founding partners were more geographically focused. Geographically focused on Kobanî Canton were the YPG's partners in the Euphrates Volcano joint operations room, several mainstream Syrian rebel factions of the Free Syrian Army, who had helped defend the Kurdish town of Kobanî during the Siege of Kobanî. Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa was in Euphrates Volcano, it expelled by the al-Nusra Front and ISIL from the city of Raqqa for being allied with the YPG since April 2014; the group participated in the capture of Tell Abyad from the Islamic State. Geographically focused on Jazira Canton were the Assyrian Syriac Military Council and the al-Sanadid Forces of the Arab Shammar tribe, both of whom had cooperated with the YPG in fighting ISIL since 2013.
The MFS is further politically aligned with the YPG via their shared secular ideology of democratic confederalism, which in the Assyrian community is known as the Dawronoye movement. Geographically focused on the Shahba region was the Army of Revolutionaries, itself an alliance of several groups of diverse ethnic and political backgrounds, who had in common that they had been rejected by the mainstream Syrian opposition for secular, anti-Islamist views and affiliations. However, most of the JAT component groups have always used the Free Syrian Army label and continue to use it; the following groups signed the founding document: On 10 December 2015, after a two-day conference, The Syrian Democratic Council was established as a political platform of the SDF. Human rights activist Haytham Manna was co-chairman at its founding; the Assembly that established the Syrian Democratic Council was made up of 13 members from specific ethnic and political backgrounds. The Syrian Arab Coalition is claimed by the U.
S. government as an alliance of programmatically ethnic Arab militias established during the Syrian Civil War. In this narrative, it consists of ethnic Arab component groups of the SDF alliance, such as the al-Sanadid Forces, the Deir ez-Zor Military Council, Arab units within the Army of Revolutionaries, along with smaller factions. At the time of its founding in late 2015, The Economist described the SDF as "essentially a subsidiary of the Kurdish YPG". At the end of October 2015, the al-Shaitat tribal militia, the Desert Hawks Brigade joined the SDF to fight ISIL in the southern countryside of Hasakah Governorate. On 15 November 2015, the FSA group Euphrates Jarabulus Battalions announced its accession to the Syrian Democratic Forces. On 2 December 2015, members of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate-based Arab tribe al-Shaitat joined the SDF, sending fighters to al-Shaddadah. With continuous growth in particular due to Arab groups and volunteers joining, in March 2016 only an estimated 60% of the men and women in the SDF fighting force were ethnic Kurds.
Growth in particular of Arab and Assyrian participation in the SDF has since continued. In an interview on the first anniversary of the SDF's founding, spokesman Talal Silo, an ethnic Turkmen and former commander of the Seljuq Brigade, stated that "we started with 13 factions and now there are 32 factions", that "90 percent" of the SDF growth since it began its operations were ethnic Arabs. In the context of the November 2016 Northern Raqqa offensive, The Economist claimed the SDF fighting force to be composed of "about 20,000 YPG fighters and about 10,000 Arabs"; the next month in December 2016, Colonel John Dorrian, the Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman, stated that the SDF contained around 45,000 fighters, of which more than 13,000 were Arabs. On 6 January 2016 an additional 400 members of the Arab Deir ez-Zor Governorate-based tribe al-Shaitat joined the SDF, sending fighters to Al-Shaddadah. On 5 February 2016, a group called Martyrs of Dam Brigade from an Arab village called al-Makhmar joined the Northern Sun Battalion and the SDF.
On 28 February 2016, a group called Martyr Qasim Areef Battalion from Sarrin was formed and joined the Ar
Second Battle of Tikrit
The Second Battle of Tikrit was a battle in which Iraqi Security Forces recaptured the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Iraqi forces consisted of the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Forces, receiving assistance from Iran's Quds Force officers on the ground, air support from the American and French air forces; the city of Tikrit, located in the central part of the Saladin Governorate in north of Baghdad and Samarra and lying adjacent to the Tigris River, was lost to ISIL during the huge strides made by the group during its offensive in June 2014. After its capture, ISIL retaliated with the massacre at Camp Speicher, a nearby training facility for the Iraqi Air Force. After months of preparation and intelligence-gathering, Iraqi forces engaged in offensive operations to encircle and subsequently retake the city, starting on 2 March 2015; the offensive was the largest anti-ISIL operation to date, involving some 20,000–30,000 Iraqi forces, with an estimated 13,000 ISIL fighters present.
It was reported that 90% of the residents of the city left out of fear both of ISIL and retaliatory attacks by Shia militias once the city is captured. As such, most of the residents fled to nearby cities, such as Baghdad and Samarra, or further to Iraqi Kurdistan or Lebanon. On 4 April, after several days of heavy fighting and acts of vengeance committed by some Shia militias, the situation in the city was reported to have been stabilized, the last pockets of ISIL resistance were eliminated, with an Iraqi Police Major reporting that "The situation now is calm." However, on 5 April, continued resistance by 500 ISIL fighters in the city was reported in several pockets, which persisted for another week as government forces continued combing Tikrit for hiding ISIL fighters in the northern Qadisiya District. On 12 April 2015, Iraqi forces declared that Tikrit was free of all ISIL forces, stating that it was safe for residents to return. However, pockets of resistance persisted until 17 April, when the last 140 ISIL sleeper agents in the city were killed.
Cleanup and defusing operations in the city continued, but Iraqi officials predicted that it would take at least several months to remove the estimated 5,000–10,000 IEDs left behind by ISIL in Tikrit. Tikrit, the hometown of the ex-president Saddam Hussein, fell to ISIL during the offensive in June 2014. A first attempt to recapture the city in late June 2014 was repelled by ISIL after a few days, as well as another Iraqi attempt to recapture the city in July 2014. Subsequent efforts in December 2014 failed to make headway against ISIL, which consolidated control over Tikrit and its environs. On the morning of 19 August 2014, Iraqi government troops and allied militiamen launched a major operation, to retake the city of Tikrit from the militants; the military push started early in the morning from the southwest of the city. However, by the afternoon, the offensive had been repelled by the insurgents. Additionally, the military lost its positions in the southern area of the city it had captured a few weeks earlier.
The operation in Tikrit counted as the first major attempt by both Iraqi military and the Iran-backed Shiite to recapture ground seized by the Islamic State group since the previous summer. In early February 2015, Iraqi forces and their allies began preparations for an attack on Tikrit, with troops arriving in the nearby city of Samarra; the allied forces were composed of a heterogeneous make-up, including Iraqi security forces. Iranian leaders included officers from the revolutionary guard's extraterritorial operations division, the Quds Force, including the commander of the Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani himself; the Iraqi Army and Security Forces, along with Shia militia groups who call themselves Popular Mobilisation Units, were to push into Tikrit from several directions. Some Iranian commanders took part in leading the operation, with general Qasem Soleimani directing operations on the eastern flank from a village about 35 miles from Tikrit called Albu Rayash; the offensive was the biggest military operation in the Salahuddin region since the previous summer, when ISIL fighters killed hundreds of Iraq army soldiers who had abandoned their military base at Camp Speicher outside Tikrit.
Soleimani was spotted at Camp Speicher where he oversaw elements of the Kata'ib Imam Ali and the Badr brigades. The Shia paramilitary groups constituted by far the largest component of the allied forces at 20,000 fighters, with 3,000 being the total count of the Iraqi Security Forces and a thousand or so Sunni tribesman making up the rest of the combined army. An adviser to the Iraqi government was quoted as saying that the attackers were divided into an initial assault force of 9,000, with another group made up of local Sunni tribesmen who were to "pacify" the city, another group which would work on intelligence gathering, reconstruction work, dealing with the expected refugee flow caused by the fighting. According to reports from locals, most of the civilian residents had left Tikrit for Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad, leaving ISIL fighters inside the city; the UN estimated that about 28,000 civilians had reached Samarra following the outbreak of the offensive against ISIL. The U. S.-led Coalition was not a participant in the operation.
As the battle commenced, Gen. Martin Dempsey mentioned that, while the U. S.-led Coalition had not been directly involved in the offensive, the continuous airstrikes along the length and breadth
Battle of Fallujah (2016)
The Battle of Fallujah referred to as Third Battle of Fallujah, or Fallujah offensive, code-named Operation Breaking Terrorism by the Iraqi government, was a military operation against ISIL launched to capture the city of Fallujah and its suburbs, located about 69 kilometers west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The operation began on 22 May 2016, three months after the Iraqi forces had started the total siege of Fallujah. On 26 June, Iraqi forces recaptured the city of Fallujah, before recapturing the remaining pocket of ISIL resistance in Fallujah's western outskirts two days later. Fallujah was the first city seized by ISIL in Iraq in January 2014. Iraqi forces surrounded the western city after they recaptured Ramadi in February 2016. ISIL militants prevented people from leaving the city. Fallujah was considered to be the second most important stronghold of ISIL in Iraq, after Mosul; the Iraqi Army published a statement on 22 May 2016, asked residents of the battlefield to leave the area through secured routes.
The Iraqi Army said that local residents who could not move should raise white flags on top of their roofs. Shia marja' Ayatollah Sistani released instructions regarding respecting moral principles while advancing toward the Sunni city. Prior to the Battle of Fallujah, some Shia militias framed the impending campaign using extreme rhetoric, referring to the city as a "tumor" to be eradicated, as "Fallujah the whore," and as a "nest of traitors and criminals." The fight to retake Fallujah was portrayed sectarian terms: for instance, one Shia militia launched rockets at the city painted with the word "Nimr" – referring to Nimr al-Nimr, the Shia cleric executed by Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Haider al-Abadi ordered to begin the operation early on 23 May. "The Iraqi flag will be raised high over the land of Fallujah," said al-Abadi. On 23 May 2016, it was reported the city of Al-Karmah was recaptured by Shiite militias belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces. Photos published by a PMF source show Iran's Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani and other PMF commanders discussing Fallujah battle strategies.
On the first day of the offensive 11 further villages and districts near Fallujah were recaptured, which forced ISIL fighters to retreat to the interior of the strategically important city. The offensive was slowed down due to the discovery of hundreds of improvised explosive devices in the outskirts of the city; the Popular Mobilization Forces declared on 23 May that they had captured Al-Karmah, about 16 kilometers northeast of Fallujah, which brings most of the territory east of Fallujah under Iraqi government control. They announced the seizure of al-Harariyat, al-Shahabi and al-Dwaya and the killing of 40 ISIL militants during the military operation; the Iraqi government announced that pro-government fighters had captured the villages of Luhaib and Albu Khanfar on 24 May. On 23 May, 16 villages and districts on the eastern outskirts of Fallujah had been cleared by the Iraqi Security Forces. Included in this were the gains from a column in the northeast, which took the village of Sejar days after the recapture of Al-Karmah.
These clashes resulted in the death of 40 ISIL militants. By 25 May, a total of 163 ISIL militants, 15 civilians and 35 Iraqi forces and militiamen were killed in clashes which gained the Iraqi army control over the remaining districts in the southeast, allowing them to create a corridor that cut the ISIL-controlled zone in two. During the day, it was reported. According to Qasm Araji, a member of the defense committee, the advancing forces are continuously gaining ground and "nearing Fallujah's Eastern gate."On 27 May, the US-led Coalition conducted airstrikes in and around the city. US-led Coalition air and artillery strikes in and around Fallujah killed 70 ISIL fighters in Fallujah, including the militants’ top commander in the area, Maher Al-Bilawi. On 28 May, the Iraqi Army declared the start of an operation to take Fallujah’s city center. Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service was the first unit to break into the city. On 29 May, the Iraqi forces repelled an ISIL attack on Albu Shajal, killing "dozens" of militants.
On the same day, Iraqi troops seized a key bridge between Zaghareed and Saqlawiyah, in order to facilitate the entry of the security forces from the international highway road into the center of Saqlawiyah. Early on 30 May, the Iraqi forces began entering the city of Fallujah from three directions and captured the village of Saqlawiyah. However, the Iraqi forces faced stiff resistance from the ISIL forces inside of the city, slowing their advance. By 31 May, only 3,000 civilians had managed to escape Fallujah; the Iraqi forces entered Fallujah city through the southern village of Nuamiyah, entering the Shuhadaa neighborhood, on the way to the city center. Iraqi forces repelled a four-hour attack by the Islamic State in the south of the city of Fallujah on Tuesday; the militants deployed snipers and six cars carrying explosives which were destroyed before reaching the troops. The Iraqi Army's advance into Fallujah stalled on Wednesday, 1 June, due to fierce resistance from ISIL fighters and concerns over protecting tens of thousands of civilians still trapped inside the strategic city, officials said.
Civilians, including families, were moved to the city center and used as human shields by ISIL. With the operation in its second week, convoys of special forces could only inch forward on the dusty southern outskirts of the city as a handful of airstrikes sent up plumes of white smoke above clusters of low buildings on the fringes of the city's dense urban terrain; the Fars News Agency reported that, due to the offensive, ISIL commanders had moved cash and j