Global Independent Analytics

50,000 civilians reportedly trapped inside Fallujah as Iraqi forces surround ISIS stronghold

"Saving innocent people from harm's way is the most important thing, even more so than targeting the enemy"

Fox News reporting: More than 50,000 civilians are rumored to be trapped in the city of Fallujah, on the ISIS-controlled territory, as Iraqi forces surround the town and are about to launch an all-out assault on one of the militant's last major strongholds in the country.

Al Jazeera reported that conditions in the city, under ISIS control since 2014, have deteriorated as fighting between the militants and Iraqi forces has intensified in the past few days.

Some residents were hastily evacuated, but ISIS checkpoints on the main roads have made it nearly impossible for others to flee the city, Al Jazeera reported.

The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites asked Iraqi forces preparing to retake the city to put the safety of the civilians first. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said that "saving innocent people from harm's way is the most important thing, even more so than targeting the enemy."

The Iraqi forces have been backed by air power from the U.S.-led coalition. It is believed that between 500-700 ISIS fighters remain in the city. 

"Our troops are now in the process of surrounding the city from all (sides)," said Lt. General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the head of the counterterrorism forces' Fallujah operation. "By doing so, we will besiege the city of Fallujah in full. And then we will start storming city from several directions with new forces."

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

The Iraqi army will probably be facing prolonged battles as some ISIS fighters will probably be hiding in tunnels from which it they can launch surprise attacks at unexpected places, explosives will be placed in roads and homes, and ISIS fighters will fire rockets at Iraqi soldiers from within the civilian population. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is right to express concern about human life, but that would mean that battles will be prolonged, and Iraqi fighters will face long and tiring battles as they seek to target the enemy by surgical operations. Needless to say, ISIS is not likely to surrender and therefore this will be a test to the ability of the Iraqi army to carry out a long, exhausting fight. Moreover, it will be a test to see how closely Shiite and Sunni fighters can join in a common effort. US killed a senior ISIS fighter in Fallujah on Friday but it has also withheld support from the Shiite forces - despite the fact that they are one of the most effective fighting forces against ISIS - and contrary to concerns of some Americans that the Sunni and Shiites forces will battle each other, in my view it is more likely that Sunnis and Shiites will join. (Cooperation with the Kurdish Peshmerga is far more complex as it has clashed with Shiite forces in the past and sought to claim areas for itself rather than handing them over to the Iraqi government. However, it will not take part in this battle).  Fallujah despite its challenge is also a potential for close Shiite and Sunni collaboration against ISIS, contrary to US wishes. If many civilians are killed due to the fighting, we can expect the Western international media to cast blame at the Iraqi army and the Shiite forces although unfortunately the fact that ISIS embedded itself among civilians makes a high number of civilian casualties likely (and US operations have resulted in large numbers of civilians being killed, as we know.)

Read more

Related ARTICLES

US Sees Islamic State Group Spreading its Tentacles

US Sees Islamic State Group Spreading its Tentacles

IS remains the greatest threat globally, with a “formidable force” in Syria and Iraq

02 June 2016

Fear For Civilians As Islamic State Halts Iraqi Army At Gates Of Fallujah

Fear For Civilians As Islamic State Halts Iraqi Army At Gates Of Fallujah

Although most of Fallujah’s population is believed to have fled, 50,000 people are still thought to be trapped inside with limited access to food, water or healthcare

31 May 2016

Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

"They are brainwashed by now… They should be placed in a special camp"

30 May 2016

POPULAR ARTICLES

Not Found

OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

toTop