Saturday, April 26, 2014

26 April 2014

At dawn this morning gunmen blew up a school being used as a polling station in the Al-Karabla in Al-Qa'im township in western Anbar on the border with Syria. The school was completely demolished but there were no casualties.

In Ramadi, there are some relatively low-level clashes still going on; the various hot-zone districts are relatively calm, although some gunfire could be heard during the night.

In Fallujah, a large number of families - and some from Ramadi - have migrated towards Kurdistan, firstly as a result of the flooding of the city's southern sector, and also as a result of the continuing indiscriminate shelling that has today caused the death of one resident and injured 6 others.

A pedestrian crossing point has been opened after the flooding of vast areas of Fallujah.

Al-Garma is completely closed off by the army with nobody able to get into or out of the town which has been the target of intensive shelling during the past three days.

Also today, the Anbar Governorate Council has disbursed some of the funds allocated as compensation to the city of Ramadi. The disbursement amounts to 10 million Dinars (about $8400) to each residential home. The amount is insufficient, but the local government has said that it represents the first partial payment of the compensation for those whose homes have been destroyed.

Sheikh Ali Hatem, who had led the Military Council of Anbar Tribal Revolutionaries, left the country yesterday (Friday) by way of the Treybeel crossing into Jordan on his way to Amman. This has raised questions: he is wanted by the government but left the Governorate and the country using his Iraqi passport through the official border crossing at Treybeel. Some are saying that negotiations are about to take place in Amman, and that he secured permission by the central government to leave. Others are saying that he was given a large sum of money that secured his exit to Amman.

Regarding the upcoming elections, there are differences of opinion among the Anbar residents about whether to take part or not. Obviously, there are numerous hindrances, particularly in Ramadi and Fallujah that can only undertake a limited partial balloting.

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