Tuesday, May 20, 2014

20 May 2014

In Ramadi, government forces have announced a military campaign that has been launched in the city's southern sector residential districts, involving huge explosions and fierce clashes and aerial and artillery bombardment; we do not yet have any information about the outcome. Stringent security measures are being enforced, including the closing of some streets and the establishment of checkpoints. This comes after a week of relative calm that had raised residents' hopes for stabilizing the security situation, but the opposite has taken place with the resumption of military operations.

In Fallujah, military operations are continuing but security forces are still holding their positions about 4 kilometers from the city's perimeter. But shelling and aerial attacks are still being launched at a number of the city's residential districts. Three residents have been killed according to initial reports and 5 others have been wounded; most of the casualties have been women and children.

Only one access point is operational in Fallujah that allows residents to enter or leave the city; however, the crossing is being closed and then suddenly re-opened at irregular intervals.

There have been negative public reactions to the announced election results, with challenges being made by many of the participating political blocs and parties. Some have even made legal complaints to the Federal Court, expressing their rejection of the results, which have gone against the people's expectations, even though the results were more or less expected by observers and election experts because of the manner and circumstances of the voting and vote-tallying.

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