• In this Tuesday, May 17, 2016, file photo, a masked member of an Iraqi Shiite fighters militant group called Kataib Peace Brigades, a Shiite militia group loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, center, carries his militant flag as he takes to the street after a suicide car bombing hit a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad's eastern Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, Iraq. Even as Iraq slowly claws back territory from the Islamic State group, faith in the government is crumbling among many, particularly Shiites, angered by political disarray and the continual pounding of the capital by militants’ bombings. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim, File)

    IS attacks undermine Iraqi state in war weary capital

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Even as Iraq slowly claws back territory from the Islamic State group, faith in the government is crumbling among many, particularly the country’s Shiites, angered by political disarray and the continual pounding of the capital, Baghdad, by militants’ bombings.

  • This picture provided by the office of Iraq's Prime Minister, shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, seated left, wearing a black uniform and flanked by senior military commanders during a meeting at the Fallujah Operation Command center outside Fallujah, Iraq, Monday, May 23, 2016. Iraqi government forces on Monday pushed Islamic State militants out of some agricultural areas outside Fallujah as they launched a military offensive to recapture the city from the extremists, officials said. (Iraqi Prime Minister's Office via AP)

    Iraqi forces battle IS militants outside Fallujah

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister hailed “big successes” Monday by government troops after launching an offensive to retake Fallujah from Islamic State militants, but the operation promises to be one of the toughest challenges yet for the country’s struggling security forces.

  • File- This July 13, 2015, file photo shows Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite and Sunni pro-government fighters preparing to attack Islamic State group positions in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq.  Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the beginning of military operations to retake the Islamic State-held held city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad in a televised address Sunday, May 22, 2016. Iraqi forces are "approaching a moment of great victory" against the Islamic State group, al-Abadi said surrounded by top military commanders from the ministry of defense and the country's elite counter terrorism forces. Fallujah has been under the control of IS for more than two years. (AP Photo, File)

    Iraq launches operation to retake IS-held city of Fallujah

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the beginning of military operations to retake the Islamic State-held held city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, in a televised address on Sunday night.

  • Shiite clerics and mourners pray over the Iraqi flag-draped coffins of two people killed in protests at Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone on Friday, during their funeral at the holy shrine of Imam Ali, in Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 21, 2016. Hundreds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City and at the holy shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, as families held funerals for the two men killed in Friday's protests. Their coffins were hoisted above the crowds of mourners in Sadr City before being driven to Najaf for burial. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

    Funerals held for 2 killed in Friday protests

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds gathered in Baghdad’s Sadr City Saturday as families held funerals for two people killed in protests a day earlier. The coffins for the two men were hoisted above the crowds of mourners before being driven to the holy city of Najaf for burial.

  • Iraqi security forces spray tear gas outside Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone, Iraq. Friday, May 20, 2016. Iraqi security forces have fired tear gas and gunshots in the air as thousands of Shiite protesters stormed Baghdad’s heavily secured Green Zone, rushing toward the prime minister’s office and parliament building. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

    Iraqi protesters storm Baghdad’s Green Zone, shooting erupts

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and gunshots in the air as hundreds of anti-government protesters stormed Baghdad’s heavily secured Green Zone on Friday. Several demonstrators, mostly supporters of powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, were wounded as the crowd rushed the prime minister’s office and the parliament building.

  • Army Gen. Joseph Votel speaks to reporters at a base in Taji, Iraq, Friday, May 20, 2016, where Iraqi soldiers are being trained by Australian and New Zealand military forces. Bolstered by U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi ground forces have recaptured the western town of Rutba after Islamic State fighters who had occupied the town for nearly two years fled or put up only light resistance, U.S. military officers said Friday, May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)

    US says Iraqi forces have retaken western town of Rutba

    TAJI, Iraq (AP) — The top American general for the Middle East said Friday he is confident that Iraq is on course to defeating the Islamic State, but his words were spare and cautious, his tone notably muted.