At 02:00 today, the launch of the major military operation to liberate Anbar was announced. Fallujah was the scene of the initial action, with a six-pronged assault: mainly in the southern, western, and northwestern sectors. Security forces on the city's perimeter have reported that they have advanced about 200 meters from their original positions. Heavy aerial bombardment targeted many of the city's outskirts in addition to the central districts. Security forces have also reported that they lured a large number of ISIL gunmen into an ambush they set up at a military barracks, killing at least 23 gunmen.
A major military operation was also launched in Ramadi from four fronts: in the southern, eastern, and southwestern sectors. An ISIL field commander was killed in the fighting in the northeastern sector of the city. Anbar Operations have announced that the air campaign is still continuing and that the ground offensive has not yet been launched on Ramadi. Meanwhile Iraqi and Coalition air attacks have been targeting positions in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Garma.
Meanwhile, Anbar Operations, Anbar Police, and the Defense Ministry have confirmed that more than 10,000 fighters are involved in the campaign, in addition to more than 5,000 tribal volunteers.
Security forces have also announced that the campaign will increase in scope to include the Province's western regions: Hit, Ana, Rawa, Haditha, Rutba, Al-Qaim have not yet seen any of today's action but will be included in the upcoming phase of the campaign.
There have also been reports indicating that the ISIL commanders in Fallujah - particularly the foreigners - have been fleeing the city, and sources are reporting that 12 ISIL gunmen were killed in Fallujah - a first for Fallujah in over a year. Reports are also indicating that many of the explosions in Fallujah were detonated by units previously infiltrated into the city by security forces.