Iraqi forces advance towards center of Fallujah
flee the Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, killing at least 30 people — most of whom were women and children.
Those who were attacked were trying to flee the ISIS-held city and reach security forces in southern Fallujah in an attempt to reach relative safety at the Amiriyat Al-Fallujah refugee camp, the military spokesman said.
A source in Fallujah said that ISIS demanded women and children remained in the city.
"ISIS militants told men that if they want to leave the town, so they are free to do that, under one condition, not to take their families with them, and if they tried to do so they would kill them," the source said.
The United Nations revised significantly its estimate of the number of civilians believed trapped in besieged Fallujah, raising the figure to 90,000 from a previous estimate of 50,000.
Horrific sectarian atrocities are being committed in the final push to "liberate" the ancient city of Fallujah, 43 miles from Baghdad. Shi'ite militias who form the main part of the force fighting to recapture the city from the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, are systematically arresting Sunni men and women fleeing the besieged city. Many are being tortured and executed.
Iranian top commander Qasem Soleimani presence was confirmed in an astonishing statement by Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari on Tuesday, when he said: "Qasem Soleimani provides military advice on Iraqi soil and this is with the complete awareness of our government."
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said: "Eyewitnesses have described how armed groups operating in support of the Iraqi security forces are intercepting people fleeing the conflict, separating the men and teenage boys from the women and children, and detaining the males for 'security screening', which in some cases degenerates into physical violations and other forms of abuse, apparently in order to elicit forced confessions. There are even allegations that some individuals have been summarily executed by these armed groups."
The same thing happened during the so-called liberation of Ramadi, a city of over 1 million predominantly Sunni people, which was reduced to dust and rubble.
It seems clear that there has been a deliberate attempt by Iraqi forces to provide a lower figure for the civilian population in Fallujah, in order to hide the inevitable death toll arising from the savage bombardment of residential areas, as well as the active participation of the Iranian Qods Force and its affiliated militias.