Connect with us

World

Iraqis running out of food and medicine in besieged Falluja

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Iraqis running out of food and medicine in besieged Falluja | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Iraqis running out of food and medicine in besieged Falluja
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: Tens of thousands of trapped Iraqi civilians are running out of food and medicine in the western city of Falluja, an Islamic State stronghold under siege by security forces, according to local officials and residents.

The Iraqi army, police and Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias – backed by air strikes from a U.S.-led coalition – imposed a near total siege late last year on Falluja, located 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad in the Euphrates river valley.

The city’s population is suffering from a shortage of food, medicine and fuel, residents and officials told Reuters by phone, and media reports said several people had died due to starvation and poor medical care. Insecurity and poor communications inside the city make those reports difficult to verify.

Sohaib al-Rawi, the governor of Anbar province where Falluja is located, appealed to the coalition to air-drop humanitarian supplies to the trapped civilians. He said this was the only way to deliver aid after Islamic State mined the entrances to the city and stopped people leaving.

“No force can enter and secure (the delivery) … There is no option but for airplanes to transport aid,” he said in an interview with al-Hadath TV late on Monday, adding the situation was deteriorating by the day.

Falluja – a long-time bastion of Sunni Muslim jihadists – was the first Iraqi city to fall to Islamic State, in January 2014, six months before the group that emerged from al Qaeda swept through large parts of northern and western Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Since recapturing the city of Ramadi – a further 50 km to the west – from Islamic State a month ago, Iraqi authorities have not made clear whether they will attempt to take Falluja next or leave it contained while the bulk of their forces head north toward Mosul, the largest city under the militants’ control.

‘HUGE DETENTION CENTER’

Falih al-Essawi, deputy chief of Anbar’s provincial council, said Islamic State had turned Falluja into “a huge detention center”.

“Security forces managed to control almost all areas around Falluja. This victory has helped to reduce Daesh (Islamic State) attacks outside the city, but it cost too much because civilians now are paying the price,” he said from Ramadi, warning of a potential humanitarian disaster.

A doctor at a hospital in Falluja said medicine and supplies were running low, especially for post-natal care.

“What is the sin of those born after living in their mothers’ womb without nutrition or protection except from God?” she said.

Spokesmen for the Iraqi army, police and Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias besieging Falluja were not immediately available to comment.

The U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State estimates there are around 400 fighters from the ultra-hardline Sunni militant group in Falluja, though some military analysts put the figure at closer to 1,000.

The coalition, which includes European and Arab powers, dropped food and water in 2014 to members of Iraq’s minority Yazidi community trapped on Mount Sinjar by Islamic State – a humanitarian crisis that sparked the international air campaign.

A Baghdad-based spokesman for the coalition did not rule out a similar operation in Falluja but said Islamic State’s control of the city made it more challenging.

“The thing about an air-drop is it’s very difficult to control who gets it,” said U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren. “The conditions have to be such that the people who you want to receive the supplies are actually able to receive them and there’s no evidence that that’s the case in Falluja.”

FREEZING WINTER

Falluja, known as the “City of Minarets and Mother of Mosques”, is a focus for Sunni faith and identity in Iraq, a majority Shi’ite country. It was badly damaged in two offensives by U.S. forces against al Qaeda insurgents in 2004 following the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Maria Fantappie, Iraq analyst at the International Crisis Group think-tank, said the humanitarian situation would remain grave even after the siege ended as much of the city’s infrastructure had been destroyed in the fighting.

Rawi, the provincial governor, said Islamic State was using civilians as human shields in Falluja like it did in Ramadi – a tactic that slowed the advance of Iraqi forces.

He said media reports of up to 10 deaths due to starvation and insufficient medical care were accurate, but local officials could not provide details.

The price of food in Falluja’s markets has rocketed and bakeries have begun rationing bread, residents told Reuters. They said fuel had become scarce during the cold winter months when temperatures drop close to freezing.

One man, who like the other residents declined to be named, said the last time Islamic State distributed basic food items a few weeks ago, much of it had already gone off.

Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, described conditions in Falluja as “terrible”.

“We’re incredibly worried about the unconfirmed reports of people dying because of lack of medicine and widespread hunger,” she told Reuters.

The United Nations appealed on Sunday for $861 million to help Iraq meet a big funding gap in its 2016 emergency response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war against Islamic State which has left 10 million people in need of urgent aid.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand3 hours ago

Thai energy chief suggests senators shed suits to save energy

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Inflation and fuel prices disrupting travel to Thailand

Road deaths4 hours ago

Student’s body ripped in half in freak motorbike accident in central Thailand

Sponsored12 hours ago

Key consideration factors for medical tourism in Thailand 2022

Cannabis4 hours ago

Thai student caught smoking cannabis, threatened to punch teacher

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Renowned economist says Covid-19 was born in US bio-lab

Tourism5 hours ago

BKK Airport reports increase in flights after Thailand Pass nixed

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya5 hours ago

77 year old Australian separated from 20 others during hike on Koh Larn

Thailand5 hours ago

Drinking alcohol increases risk of threadworms, says Thai university

Travel5 hours ago

Hotels in Sathorn offering luxurious stay 2022

Thailand5 hours ago

Man killed and 2 injured in Bangkok canal tragedy

Road deaths6 hours ago

Teen killed and 2 year old in critical condition after motorcycle tragedy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Omicron subvariant likely to be a dominant strain in Thailand

Transport7 hours ago

Hang on! BTS booty post draws viral attention to train etiquette

Thailand7 hours ago

AirAsia Thailand resumes Bangkok – Hong Kong flights, pilots new China route

Thailand7 hours ago

No Thais were killed by Burmese bombs says army

Thailand10 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending

By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.