Iraqi forces ad­vance towards cen­ter of Fal­lu­jah

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

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.

Shia Mili­tias

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.

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