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January 08, 2014 AT 3:23 AM
Iraq's prime minister vowed to uproot al Qaeda and said he was sure of victory as his army prepared to launch a major military assault against Sunni Islamist militants in the city of Falluja. In a televised address on Wednesday, Nuri al-Maliki also thanked the international community for its support in the fight against al Qaeda and urged the group's members and supporters to surrender, promising clemency. Fighters from the al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also active across the border in Syria, overran police stations in Falluja and another city in Iraq's western Anbar province last week.