Thursday, May 29, 2014

29 May 2014

Fallujah is still surrounded on all sides by Iraqi army forces. Fierce clashes have taken place on the city's perimeter and in the partially constructed area of buildings belonging to Fallujah University. Many of the city's districts have been shelled, from Al-Sichir in the north, the city's central districts, and on into Al-Nu'aimiya in the south. Since last night and into this afternoon, at least 4 residents have been killed and 8 wounded by the shelling.

Military operations have also been underway in Al-Garma, northeast of Fallujah, with fierce clashes continuing between the groups of gunmen and the security forces supported by army units.

In Ramadi, military operations are continuing in the city's southern sector. Yesterday there were heavy clashes in the Al-Hawz district in southwestern Ramadi which then spread into other southern districts. An Anbar Police Command spokesman has stated that they are continuing their military operations in order to regain total control of Ramadi, and that the last square-shaped area still occupied in central Ramadi by the gunmen is totally surrounded. The source expects that total control will be achieved within one week. The areas that have been taken over by the security forces are now completely secure and we have seen some families returning to their homes in those areas.

Regarding the displaced persons, there are still many families, especially from Fallujah, that have made their way to other governorates, to Kurdistan, to Baghdad, and to the towns in western Anbar. The latter displaced families are still facing shortages of food and of the relief aid provided by the relief agencies and the local government. The local authorities are being called upon to provide medicines and medical care for the sick and the elderly, following the announcement by the Anbar Council that it is proving each displaced family with 500,000 Dinars.

Reaction to Al-Maliki's proposed conference that would be attended by all parties in the conflict has been largely positive, having been welcomed by the local government and many of the tribal sheikhs. However, some tribal sheikhs are rejecting the idea, saying that the step has come too late and that the humanitarian situation needs to be resolved first.

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