Friday, April 25, 2014

25 April 2014

The most important development in Anbar is that the flood waters have now swept into Al-Nu'aimiya and the southern and southeastern sectors of Fallujah. As a result, hundreds of families have had to abandon their homes there. The flooding - with the continued closure of the Fallujah barrage by the groups of gunmen - has now affected huge tracts of cultivated land in the southern and southeastern sectors of Fallujah. The crops in the fields there have been totally destroyed.
Also in Fallujah, two people were killed and 3 were injured in the ongoing indiscriminate shelling of a number of the city's districts.

In Ramadi, occasional clashes have been reported in the northeastern districts of the city.

With regard to the election situation, a second polling station within a school inside the city was attacked yesterday with gunmen throwing a hand grenade into the building; there were no casualties but the building was damaged. This is the second attack on a polling station after the attack in Hit township. Gunmen have been distributing leaflets in a number of Anbar's population centers, calling on citizens not to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections, and threatening those who do with dire consequences.

Contrary to social media reports, the Fallujah barrage has not been shelled by Iraqi forces; some equipment being used by the gunmen have been shelled, but these are about half a kilometer from the barrage. Experts are saying that the army would never hit the barrage itself because its damage or destruction would have a negative effect.

Regarding Al-Garma, northeast of Fallujah, we have witnessed military aircraft dropping exploding drum-shaped objects onto residential houses and the town's public places, spreading fear among the residents.
This is, in fact the first time that this type of weapon has been used in Anbar; it is a cylinder-shaped container about 30 cm in diameter and between 1 and 1.5 meters long, packed with explosives and is dropped from high-flying aircraft.
The leader of the groups controlling Al-Garma is Sheikh Rafa'a Abbas Al-Jumaili, head of the Jumailat tribe in Iraq. There is, of course a large number of gunmen involved, of various convictions and affiliations, but the consensus indicates that those fighting the army are the tribesmen.

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