Saturday, June 14, 2014

14 June 2014

In Al-Saqlawiya, a township west of Fallujah, has been since yesterday the scene of an operation that began with the targeting of the township seat building with two car bombs. The five-storey building has also been a stronghold of the security forces; we do not yet know the outcome of the attack or the number of casualties it caused. Meanwhile, the gunmen have seized control of large areas of the township following the withdrawal of some security units. However, security forces are still holding numerous areas around the township and are at this time involved in regaining control of the township, with some sources indicating that a security operation will be launched during the next few hours to re-take Al-Saqlawiya.

In Fallujah, shelling of the city's central and northern districts has been ongoing since last night. A source at the Fallujah General Hospital has announced that 4 residents have been killed and 7 others, including women and children, have been wounded.

The town of Al-Qaim in western Anbar has been relatively calm and is still under the control of security forces supported by local police, tribal elements, and townspeople. Meanwhile, ISIL gunmen have seized the border facility on the Syrian side of the border. On the Iraqi side, and after the withdrawal of government forces, the border area is under the control of tribal forces cooperating with the local police. However, the border is more than 600 km long and there are numerous groups of gunmen moving back and forth across the border.

In Al-Garma, fierce intermittent clashes have been underway, and shelling has struck government buildings and some residential homes. We do not yet have any casualty figures from the town.

In Ramadi, although the city is relatively calm, security sources are saying that military operations are underway in the city's southern sector and that they would shortly secure the area. In spite of the optimistic tone of the security reports, large numbers of residents are still moving out of Fallujah, Al-Saqlawiya, and the southern and southwestern districts of Ramadi; they are mostly heading for Hit which has so far taken in more than 70,000 displaced people, a number equal to the town's population, exacerbating the difficulties faced by this township.

Events in Mosul and the neighboring Salahuddin governorate have had their effect on Anbar. The reported capture by the gunmen of the Baiji oil refinery has resulted in huge shortages in petroleum products, in addition to huge rises in the prices of foodstuffs and vegetables. 

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