Falluja, Al

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Al Falluja (äl fälōō´jə), town (2004 est. pop 300,000), Anbar prov., central Iraq, on the Euphrates. A strategic city 35 mi (56 km) W of Baghdad, Falluja is sited where a highway linking Baghdad, Damascus (Syria), and Amman (Jordan) crosses the Euphrates. The surrounding area produces dates, sesame, millet, and corn. The town is noted for the many mosques found there, and is identified with ancient Misiche, where Shapur I halted (AD 244) the advancing Roman armies of Gordian III. Located in the so-called Sunni Triangle (the largely Sunni Arab region of Iraq), the town was a center of insurgent resistance following the U.S. invasion of Iraq (2003) and was the scene of fierce fighting in 2004. It was later seized by Islamic State militants during their 2014 offensive against Iraqi government forces.