Sunday, September 14, 2014

14 September 2014

Radio Free Iraq's broadcaster Nabil al-Haidari interviews Raad al-Khashea, the Radio's correspondent in Anbar province. Translated  by Ayad al-Gailani.

Q: What are the latest security, social, and living developments in Anbar?

A: Calm has settled over Fallujah, following the Prime Minister's announcement of the cessation of the bombardment of the city's residential districts that are still held by ISIL gunmen. The General Hospital here has not received any casualties. Meanwhile many families have begun returning from the places where they have been taking refuge to their homes in Fallujah. We have witnessed the return of many families from Amiriya (also known as Amiriyat al-Fallujah), parts of Ramadi, and the areas around Haditha and Baghdadi to their homes. This return has come following promises announced by the Anbar Council that there would be no further bombardments of any part of the governorate.

Q: In that case, reports of mortar strikes on the Fallujah hospital are not true?

A: There were mortar attacks today, but sources at the hospital have affirmed that the source of the attacks is unknown; they have not expressly accused the army or the security forces of being responsible. The Anbar Operations Command issued a statement today stressing that the mortar rounds were not fired by the army, but rather by ISIL gunmen attempting to deceive and sow confusion regarding the Prime Minister's promises. There are differences of opinion on the subject, but the mortar damage was limited to structural damage and there were no human casualties. The people of Fallujah are hoping that the decision will free them of the conditions they have been through for more than 9 months.

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