Thursday, July 31, 2014

31 July 2014

In Fallujah, most of the central, northern, and northeastern residential districts have been bombarded; a source at the Fallujah General Hospital has reported that at least 6 residents have been killed and at least 23 wounded.

In Al-Garma, military operations are still underway as part of the security campaign that had been expected to penetrate into the town but the fierce resistance has resulted in prolonging the campaign. We do not yet have any resulting casualty figures.

In Ramadi, a military operation yesterday in the southern and southwestern sectors of the city has, according to a security source, killed three ISIL commanders. Civilian casualties included 3 civilians killed by an explosive device in the city's southwestern sector.

The information available so far is that there is some coordination in Anbar and also in Nineveh between The Sons of Anbar Revolutionaries, the Mosul Tribal Council Revolutionaries. These armed groups are fighting against all of the extremist religious elements, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, that are engaged in 'sabotage' and the demolition of religious shrines. This new organization is not connected to either the central or the local governments; they are tribal groups fighting alongside the 'armed resistance' that was active during the U.S. occupation. There is thus an armed winging fighting against the groups of gunmen that been sabotaging and destroying certain targets related to religious beliefs, including shrines, mosques, and historical sites.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

29 July 2014

In Ramadi, army and police forces have attempted to retake the city's western districts that have been controlled by the armed groups for more than two weeks. Fierce clashes erupted along the edges of those districts, but the security forces were unable to penetrate into them. We do not yet have any casualty details.

In Fallujah and Al-Garma, bombardment is still continuing, as have intermittent clashes.

The Eid al-Fitr's accoutrements have virtually disappeared from Anbar, particularly in the areas experiencing military operations. We have been living here all our lives and we are citizens first and journalists second, but we have seen the total absence of any Eid-related signs or activity, as has been the case in previous similar occasions. The degradation of the security situation and the indiscriminate shelling and bombardment, the plight of the more than 500,000 displaced Anbaris are still suffering under dire living conditions. There is a sense of fear, particularly in the areas controlled by the gunmen who consider exhibiting joy during the Eid to be frivolously unacceptable and contrary to Shari'a teachings. Thus, both the areas held by the government and those under the control of the gunmen are experienced fear of either renewed attacks or gunmen's reprisals.

Monday, July 28, 2014

28 July 2014

On the first day of the Eid Al-Fitr, there was a relative calm in most of the residential districts in many regions of Anbar. However, in Fallujah and Al-Garma, military operations are continuing and a number of Fallujah's districts and Road 40 in the center have been shelled. A medical source at the Fallujah General Hospital has confirmed that 4 residents have been killed and 11 others wounded by the shelling.

In Al-Garma, the military campaign is in its third day, and a military operation by the Iraqi army supported by the Iraqi air force has been bombarding particular targets and some residential districts within Al-Garma. Many homes have been severely damaged. Also for the third day, the plan to penetrate into the town has been thwarted by the fierce resistance of the gunmen. This morning's casualty figures show that 3 members of one family have been killed and 7 others have been wounded.

Late last night, parts of the Al-Qa'im township on the Syrian border were bombarded; 8 residents were killed and 11 others were wounded. The bombardment also targeted a number of outlying villages in the border area.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

27 July 2014

Military operations have continued between last night and this afternoon in both Al-Garma and Fallujah. Shelling has also continued of districts within the two urban centers. Gunmen are still in control and the military is continuing with its operations. There have been casualties among the gunmen but it is mostly the civilians that are falling victims. Operations have also included Amiriyat Al-Fallujah where a car bomb was detonated yesterday without causing any casualties. The car was heading to Fallujah to attack a police station but the gunmen were repelled, regroup, and withdrew out of Amiriyat Al-Fallujah.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Eid Al-Fitr, but people appear to be at a loss and their faces show their fear, and the streets are devoid of the traditional decorations and lighting in Ramadi and Fallujah. The Eid is coming amid the surprise and dismay of the population here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

26 July 2014

Q: Do you have any news about the reported intentions of ISIL to blow up or destroy more shrines?

A: There are new reports on this subject. The gunmen are continuing to blow up some shrines and mosques in Mosul. Rumors today and some eyewitness reports indicate that the gunmen are preparing to blow up the shrine of the Prophet Jergis (Georges) on the right bank of the city. Other rumors tell of the possibility that the famous Al-Hadba'a minaret will also be blown up. No reason is known for the targeting of these places, but some residents saying that the aim is to destroy Mosul's historical, archeological, and Islamic identity and history.

Q: The citizens of Mosul are of course proud and protective of their city's iconic sites that are important to both the city and Iraq as a whole. Are there any reactions on the ground, other than those of dismay and sadness?

A:  Irrespective of the wave of anger and sadness that has spread through the city, there have been calls for the formation of armed groups of Mosul youths to protect the city and to rid it of these gunmen. Some are even calling for the formation of an army, to be called the 'Prophet Younis Army', that would defend Mosul and protect its historical and holy places. The governor of Nineveh had called for the formation of 'People's committees' when the invasion of Mosul began in early June, and is now saying that this is the time to activate these committees in the city's neighborhoods. However, residents don't have the weapons they need and are demanding that they be provided.

Q: There are armed factions that have been mentioned that have supported the gunmen who invaded and seized the city, but these groups are now reported to be withholding their oath of allegiance to ISIL. Is it true that some of the factions have changed their stance?

A: We do not have any information in this regard, particularly as the city's communication networks are severely curtailed by the central government. However, some observers of the Mosul scene are saying that their may have been some splits within the groups that have been working with ISIL and may now be working against it because of the actions they have taken in Mosul and their imposition of strict control on its residents.

Friday, July 25, 2014

25 July 2014

The main events have for the past three days been centered on Fallujah and Al-Garma. A military operation is still underway around Al-Garma on four fronts. There has also been continuous shelling, and some sources are indicating that there have been large numbers of casualty, mainly among the displaced civilians who have taken refuge in schools in the villages around the town.

In Fallujah, the overall casualty shows at least 522 killed since the crisis began and that number is increasing daily. Military operations are also continuing in the sectors along the main highway to Baghdad.

Many of the Friday sermons expressed disdain over the bombing of the Prophet Younis shrine in Mosul. Meanwhile other preachers have avoided dealing with such subjects, and they are afraid because many of them are living in the areas controlled by the gunmen. Citizens in those areas who have learned to co-exist with the gunmen, as is the case in Mosul, have been expressing their anger and dismay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

23 July 2014

In Ramadi, localized military operations are continuing in the city's western sector districts that are still controlled by the gunmen. Intermittent clashes have taken place between last night and this afternoon. Mortar rounds and artillery shells have also been used on those districts. No casualties have been reported but there has been significant structural damage. Although no deaths have been reported, some residents have been slightly wounded, while the general population is living in fear.

Al-Garma is still the target of the fiercest military operations for the fourth consecutive day. 32 people have been killed and at least 60 have been wounded in the operations between last night and this afternoon. Yesterday, according to eyewitnesses, explosive-filled barrels/drums were dropped on the town; one of the drums struck the Al-Ameen school that is now housing more than 20 families. The drum struck one of the school buildings housing at least 5 families, leaving 9 people dead and wounding 15 others, according to sources at the Al-Garma General Hospital. Fierce clashes are still being reported between the gunmen within the town and army forces on the town's perimeter. Air strikes have also been targeting the districts along the highway toward Fallujah.

In Fallujah, yesterday's shelling and bombardment targeted numerous districts, including the central districts. At least 13 residents were wounded, although the Fallujah General Hospital has not recorded any deaths. The overall casualty count for Fallujah now stands at least 502 killed and more than 2,000 wounded since the beginning of the Anbar crisis.

The main towns in Anbar's western regions are still fully controlled by the gunmen. Meanwhile clashes are still going on around the perimeter of Haditha which the gunmen are still planning to assault, but there has not yet been any definitive action toward that end. Hit and Al-Baghdadi are still relatively secure.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

22 July 2014

From last night and into this afternoon, there has been a further attempt to assault Al-Garma on four fronts. Extended clashes and battles have left 4 of the town's residents dead and 9 others wounded. Some public buildings and other government facilities were shelled indiscriminately.

In Fallujah there have been some greater casualty counts, with 11 residents killed and 31 wounded by the military operations and the yesterday's bombardment of the city.

In Ramadi, gunmen are still holding the city's western districts that have been bombarded and attacked by security forces, while the city's central districts are still relatively quiet.

Gunmen are still in control of the western townships in Anbar (Ana, Rawa, Al-Qa'im, and Rutba). 'Preemptive' air strikes have been targeting gunmen positions in the Iraqi-Syrian border regions; 1 gunman was killed and 7 were wounded in these attacks.

Monday, July 21, 2014

21 July 2014

The Anbar areas that have been relatively calm, particularly the western town of Rawa - more than 250 km from Ramadi - have been bombarded since last night, targeting the outskirts of Rawa and some of its districts. The bombardment wounded at least 60 residents, including women and children. The attacks were carried out by army gunships that targeted a number of residences and resulted in demolishing large parts of Rawa's new stadium. The local government and the residents have denounced, expressing surprise at the random bombardment of people's homes.

In Fallujah, yesterday was another day of violence, with the aerial bombardment that targeted a number of the city's districts. Initial casualty figures list 7 residents killed and 17 others wounded in central Fallujah.

In Al-Garma, the military operation attempted incursion into the town, but the fierce resistance by the gunmen within the town is still holding the security and army forces at bay. Residences have been bombarded, and security forces are saying that 34 gunmen have been killed, and 4 residents have also been killed and 11 others wounded.

In Ramadi, intermittent clashes are continuing in the city's western sector districts, from which many families have made and are making their way to Hit and Al-Baghdadi.

Many aid and relief agencies are stressing that the plight of the displaced families is extremely difficult now that the funds that had been allocated to the local government have run out, given that the 2014 budget has yet to be approved, and there is no more official relief forthcoming for the estimated 500,000 displaced persons within Anbar and elsewhere.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

20 July 2014

Yesterday Fallujah was the scene of the largest military operations and the fiercest shelling since the beginning of the Anbar crisis. The military action has resulted, according to initial counts today, in the deaths of 19 residents and the wounding of 41 others. Numerous residential districts were targeted in the central, northern, and southern sectors of the city.

In Al-Garma, there was an attempt by army forces yesterday to storm the town. The military had planned to penetrate into the town but they were surprised by the intense resistance from within; clashes and bombardment have killed 2 residents and wounded 8 others in this first attempt to overrun the town which is still being controlled by the gunmen.

In Ramadi, fighting is taking place inside the city, especially in its western districts that had been secure up to about one month ago, with many Ramadi residents moving into them. The situation has now been reversed: the gunmen are in control and are trying to advance into other parts of the city, particularly toward districts where military barracks and positions are located, such as the Anbar Operations Command and the 8th Brigade HQ where most of the security commanders are stationed. Clashes have taken place and and we can still observe the rocket and mortar fire in the vicinity of the 8th Brigade position.

The western areas of Anbar are mostly controlled by the gunmen, but there have been air strikes described by the military as being 'preemptive'. The strikes have particularly been launched against positions along the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Meanwhile, the displaced persons are caught between the military operations in the previously secure areas and their quest for safety, moving from district to district where the security forces are in control, only to move out again when the gunmen move in.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

19 July 2014

In Fallujah, heavy shelling has targeted numerous districts, killing 9 residents and wounding at least 17 others, amid clashes between gunmen within the city and security forces surrounding the city. Air strikes have also targeted a number of barracks within the city, resulting in many civilian casualties, most of them women and children.

In Al-Garma, residential homes have been targeted on the town's outskirts in the direction of Fallujah along the road between them. Within the town, Iraqi warplanes have launched air strikes that have left at least 4 wounded residents. Security forces are saying that they are taking control of Fallujah and securing the road links and the highway toward Baghdad that it uses in bringing in reinforcements.

In Ramadi, intermittent clashes have been underway since last night and have continued into this afternoon in the western sector of the city. Residential districts within Ramadi are relatively quiet, and a few families have been returning to their homes, but some roads and thoroughfares are still not secure. Gunmen are maintaining their presence in the city's southern sector.

The main western towns and the vast surrounding areas are still being held by the gunmen. There are no security forces present and the gunmen are administering the areas. Some low-level commercial activity has been taking place at the crossing points on the borders.

Clashes are continuing on the outskirts of Haditha as the armed groups are attempting to move into the town but the army, security, and tribal forces have prevented them from entering the town. Meanwhile Hit, Al-Baghdadi, and Kubaisa are still under the control of security forces and the local government. Amid the security presence there has been some activity by the towns' residents.

Friday, July 18, 2014

18 July 2014

In Ramadi, intermittent clashes have taken place in the southern sector snd the countryside areas outside the city along the banks of the Euphrates. Within the city similar clashes have taken place in the western parts of the city adjacent to the Anbar Operations Command and the 8th Brigade HQ. At this time we do not yet have casualty figures for any of the clashes. A number of gunmen have been reported killed in the southern sector in military operations, according to security and political sources at the Anbar Council.

In Fallujah, there have been attacks on the northern sector of the city and along the main Baghdad-Fallujah highway in a coordinated operation between Fallujah and Al-Garma, according to Defense Ministry sources. A number of residential districts in the city have been shelled, including Al-Sichir to the north and Al-Nu'aimiya to the south. The casualty count between last night and noon today shows that 17 residents have been killed and 39 others wounded, the highest count for more than a week. In one incident all 6 members of one family were killed by the shelling.

The main towns in western Ramadi are still under the gunmen's control and it is they who are running the day-to-day situation in those areas.

The negative reaction of many Anbaris to the election of Saleem Al-Juburi as Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament is similar to that when Usama Al-Nujaifi was elected as Speaker and Saleh Al-Mutlag as Deputy Prime Minister in the past. As they all belong to the same class and the same sect of those who live in Anbar.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

17 July 2014

The most prominent development in Ramadi during the last three days has been the gunmen's deployment into the city's western and southern sectors. The gunmen's movements have resulted in intermittent clashes and have forced the districts' residents to once again move out towards Hit and Al-Baghdadi. As a result, the local government has once again called for tribal volunteers to join army and police forces in order to bolster the security forces in their efforts at thwarting the gunmen's advances.
The 8th Brigade HQ has again been hit by mortar and artillery fire and intermittent clashes have been taking place throughout the night.

In Fallujah, 9 residents were killed and 27 others were wounded in yesterday's fierce shelling of numerous districts within the city.

Al-Garma has also been subjected to shelling and rocket-propelled grenade fire, resulting in the death of 2 residents with 7 others wounded. The town is still controlled by gunmen, while security forces are operating outside the town's perimeter. Security sources are claiming that the operations are being targeted at groups of gunmen.

In western Anbar gunmen are still controlling the main towns as well as the crossing points at both the Syrian and Jordanian borders. Iraqi warplanes have attacked a number of positions in the region, saying that the they are targeting the gunmen groups.

There has been an attempted assault on Haditha which is a fortified stronghold of the security and tribal forces and is the location of the Haditha Dam. Security forces there have been reinforced out of concerns that the gunmen would try to attack the town.

Flyers have been distributed in Hit and Al-Baghdadi warning residents against siding with the security forces and fixing the end of Ramadan as the final deadline for their 'repentance' and their embracing the 'Islamic State' after resigning their government jobs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

16 July 2014

Since last night and through the early hours of this morning, Fallujah has been hit by the fiercest ground and air assault, resulting in clashes at the city's perimeter, especially in the northern and northeastern sectors of the city. Early reports by the Fallujah General Hospital indicate that at least 17 people, including 2 women and 4 children, have been killed and 32 others wounded in those military operations, Yesterday, the shelling was directed at a number of districts, including those in the city's southern sector.

Al-Garma has also been hit by indiscriminate shelling and clashes erupted in a number of the town's districts. Casualties included 2 residents killed and 8 wounded by the shelling. Meanwhile operations are also ongoing along the banks of the Euphrates River branch and the areas separating Al-Garma and Fallujah, as well as along the Baghdad-Fallujah highway.

In Ramadi, fierce clashes are continuing in the city's western sector that is being controlled by the gunmen. Fighting and shelling is also continuing in the gunmen's efforts to take the 8th Brigade HQ, the last position that is still being held by security forces in that sector. Clashes have also spread to the city's northeastern sector along the Euphrates. In one confrontation, 7 gunmen were killed when their group attacked a military/security checkpoint.

The western towns of the governorate are still under the full control of the armed groups. Along the border with Syria, the Al-Waleed crossing point and other border regions have been bombarded.

Haditha is still being held by security, 'Awakenings', and tribal forces, but only light clashes have occurred there. In Al-Baghdadi, the ISIL gunmen have been distributing flyers advising security forces and local police that they have opened the door for 'repentance' and that the government forces should lay down their arms and join the 'Islamic State'. This was described as the final warning allowing security and police forces and civil servants to announce their 'final repentance, an offer that will expire with the end of Ramadan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

15 July 2014

In Ramadi today, gunmen were around the perimeter of the Anbar Operations Command that houses the Army local HQ in central Ramadi. There have also been intermittent clashes in some districts in the city's southern sector. There have also been clashes and shelling in the western districts which have been controlled by the gunmen for about two weeks. Yesterday there were clashes and mortar shelling around the 8th Brigade HQ in the western sector.

In Fallujah, a casualty count has shown that 4 residents have been killed and 11 others wounded in the shelling, since last night and up to noontime today, of numerous districts of the city. That brings the total count since the beginning of the crisis up to 551 killed and at least 2,000 wounded, according to the Fallujah General Hospital.

To the northeast, in Al-Garma, intensive shelling has targeted many of the town's districts, as well as the town's general hospital that has been hit by shelling for the third time. The facility was heavily damaged and three of its medical staff were wounded.

In Anbar's western regions, the main towns are still being controlled by gunmen, but these areas have been struck by the army air arm. The areas around the border between Nineveh and Anbar governorates have also been bombarded, as have the areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border. These areas have struck almost daily, but the surrounding populated areas are still under the control of the gunmen who are regulating the general situation there, in a similar way to their takeover of Mosul.

Monday, July 14, 2014

14 July 2014

In Ramadi, gunmen are still in control of the city's southern sector as well as the western sector. They are launching mortar and rocket attacks on the 8th Brigade HQ from the 5 Kilo district of western Ramadi as they attempt to take over the facility. Meanwhile clashes have erupted between gunmen and the local police supported by some of the tribal 'Awakenings' men in the city's northern and northeastern countryside areas along the Euphrates River.

In Fallujah, rockets and mortar rounds have been falling onto a number of residential districts since last night. The Fallujah General Hospital has announced that 4 residents were killed and 6 others wounded as a result of those attacks.

In Al-Garma, the town is still completely besieged on all sides after a number of its districts were shelled yesterday.

In Haditha, the situation has not changed since the armed groups attempted an assault into the town. The situation within the town is relatively calm and a dusk-to-dawn curfew is still in force.

Meanwhile, the gunmen are still in control of the main towns in Anbar, all the way to the Syrian border. Government air strikes are also continuing on suspected gunmen positions in those areas. But it is definitely the gunmen who are running things there and they are in full control of the security situation, as well as the day-to-day living conditions there.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

13 July 2014

In Ramadi, intermittent clashes have been going on, particularly in the city's western sector and also in the central, formerly secure, central districts that have now become quasi-military areas with the renewal of fighting around the 8th Brigade HQ and the gunmen's attempts at taking the position, but they have been confronted by fierce response by the army units holding it. The situation there has not yet been resolved. Yesterday the HQ's surroundings were subjected to shelling. There were also clashes in the northern and northwestern area along the Euphrates between the armed groups and army forces that are trying to regain control. However, there have been renewed attempts by the gunmen to make advances into the areas being held by the local authorities in Anbar.

With regard to the gunmen's attempts to seize Haditha, the gunmen launched an attack on the Sakran checkpoint in western Haditha, with a second attack on the Alous area in northeastern Haditha. Meanwhile Haditha is still totally surrounded by the armed groups, but reports indicate the arrival of new supplies to the army units at Haditha Dam.

In Fallujah, yesterday's casualty count stands at 4 dead and 7 others, mostly women and children, wounded by the shelling that has targeted numerous residential districts in the city.

In Al-Garma, eyewitnesses are describing the use of explosives-packed barrels/drums in bombarding the township, resulting in 10 casualties including 4 women and 2 children. Meanwhile, stringent security measures are in place in the areas around Fallujah and Al-Garma, including air reconnaissance missions.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

12 July 2014

In Ramadi, gunmen launched an attack on the HQ of the 8th Brigade in the city center. Eleven suicide attackers were killed in the action as a result of the resistance by the security forces within the location. Meanwhile gunmen did make advances in other areas, amid clashes in a number of areas within Ramadi and in the northeastern sector of the city. A security source said that their forces are now either in the hands of the gunmen or within their range, and that at least 31 army security personnel were captured by the gunmen and they have been dispersed to other locations. Four other security personnel were killed in clashes in the western part of Ramadi.

Yesterday there was also an attempt at an incursion into Haditha township, resulting in direct confrontations between the security forces and the gunmen. Some sources say that 22 of the gunmen were killed and at least 14 others wounded, while 7 security personnel were killed in the attack. The attack was launched on two fronts: from the west and from the north.

Elsewhere, gunmen have seized the village of Al-Doolab east of Al-Baghdadi

The Anbar governor has announced the arrival in Ramadi of more than 4,000 volunteers from the southern governorates to bolster government-held positions and their surroundings.

In Fallujah, shelling of numerous districts has been continuing since last night and into the early hours of this morning, resulting in the deaths of 3 residents, including a woman, with 11 others wounded, including 3 children.

In Al-Garma, the town's hospital was hit by shellfire, resulting in the injury of 10 people, including 2 of the medical personnel. Many other districts in the town were also attacked from the air and there have been serious casualties reported. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

11 July 2014

In Ramadi, the gunmen have tried to take the areas in the western parts of the city where there are a number of security and military positions; they have seized and are still in control of the 5 Kilo, 7 Kilo and Al-Ta'meem districts. Fighting continued through the night. Some areas in the city's countryside on Al-Khalidiya Island in northeastern Ramadi have also been the scenes of clashes.

In Fallujah, the city is still being shelled daily, but gunmen are still in control. The shelling targeted a number of residential districts and a casualty count yesterday shows that 3 residents, including a woman, have been killed and 13 others wounded.

In Al-Garma, 30 km northeast of Fallujah, there were also clashes in the zones that have usually been the scenes of clashes and shelling between gunmen, within the town and military forces controlling its surroundings.

In western Anbar, the gunmen are still controlling Al-Qa'im, Ana, Rawa, and Rutba that are still being bombarded by the army and the air force. Districts within Ana were bombarded yesterday, as were the border regions along the Syrian border. The gunmen have been moving toward capturing Haditha, Al-Baghdadi, and Hit that are still under security forces' control; Haditha is the location of the strategically important Haditha Dam, and Al-Baghdadi is where the large Ayn Al-Asad military base is located, while Hit is strategically located and is home to a number of military and security camps. Military activity is now focused on preventing the gunmen from seizing these areas.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 July 2014

In Ramadi, since last night and into this afternoon, there have been clashes that have been the fiercest since about six months ago. The gunmen, who seem set for a full assault on the seat of the local government, are now once again in control of positions in the 5 Kilo, 7 Kilo, and Al-Ta'meem districts that had recently been under the control of government forces.

In Fallujah, since dawn yesterday and into the early hours of this morning, fierce gunfights, clashes, and shelling have been continuing. The casualty count for yesterday lists 8 residents killed and 32 wounded. A count through noontime today lists 4 residents killed and 9 wounded by the shelling of numerous districts of the city.

In Al-Garma, most of the towns residential districts were being shelled, leaving 10 residents wounded, including 2 women.

In western Anbar, the four main townships are being controlled by the gunmen. Iraqi warplanes have attacked positions believed to be held by groups of gunmen.

The two remaining townships, including Haditha, are still besieged by gunmen, but security, army, and police forces have been reinforced at the Haditha Dam.

There are still widespread shortages of food and fuel.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

09 July 2014

In Ramadi, there have been intermittent clashes since last night and into this afternoon, and many districts have been shelled as a result of the gunmen's advances into the western sector of the city. There have also been gun battles in the city center, and many mortar rounds have struck a number of military positions within that area.

In Fallujah, a number of districts have been shelled indiscriminately. Three residents have been killed and 7 others wounded as a result of the military operations on the city's outskirts.
Clashes and shelling have also continued in Al-Garma.

Meanwhile, Iraqi warplanes have attacked groups of gunmen along the borders Iraqi borders with both Jordan and Syria. There have also been military operations along the border between Anbar and Nineveh governorates.

Naturally, the conditions for the displaced persons are extremely difficult, with the rise in temperatures and the lack of living necessities for many of them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

08 July 2014

Fierce intermittent clashes have been underway in various parts of Ramadi, mostly in the western sector of the city. Mortar rounds and other explosives are still targeting the HQ of the 8th Brigade. Reliable sources indicate that the gunmen have widened their presence in the city and in the countryside along the Euphrates River towards Fallujah.

In Fallujah, prolonged shelling of many of the city's residential districts, as well as in Al-Garma and the areas between the town and the city, has killed 4 people and wounded at least 11, including women and children. The southern and southwestern sectors of the city were also the scenes of intermittent clashes. The commander of the 6th Division was killed in the action.

In Anbar's western regions, the main towns are still under the gunmen's control. Areas along the border between Anbar and Nineveh governorates and in the Iraqi-Syrian border areas came under bombardment. The general consensus on the ground is that it is the gunmen who are in control.

Monday, July 7, 2014

07 July 2014

Many security procedures are in place with the seizure by gunmen of an area on Al-Khalidiya Island in northeastern Ramadi, very close to the Habbaniya military base. Anbar officials here fear that the gunmen, after seizing this area, will be able to gather their forces in order to take this base.
Meanwhile there have been fierce clashes in the attempts to drive the gunmen out of the western parts of Ramadi and its center. Mortar rounds are still targeting the HQ of the 8th Brigade in the city center.

In Fallujah, there was yesterday indiscriminate shelling of a number of the city's districts, including Al-Sichir and Al-Nu'aimiya. Four people have been killed including a surgeon in Al-Garma, about 30 km from Fallujah.

The situation in Anbar's western regions is cautious but relatively calm after the gunmen's taking control of all of western Anbar; they are also in almost total control of Haditha's surroundings, while security forces have been setting up barricades around the Haditha Dam, the biggest dam in Iraq.

The security situation is also preoccupying the residents trying to observe the month of Ramadan, but they are fearful and worried that Anbar will suffer a similar fate as that of Nineveh and other Iraqi governorates. Many displaced persons throughout Anbar are of course suffering from food shortages, given that the local authorities have not been providing them with their needs. They are calling on the local government to provide them with the funds needed to buy their food, especially now during Ramadan.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

05 July 2014

Beginning in Ramadi, the city is under a total curfew since last night and into today after reports revealing that the armed groups are intending to launch a major operation aimed at seizing all of Ramadi. There has also been a concentrated deployment of security forces and tribal volunteers to protect banks and public venues; bridges have also been closed down and connecting streets within the city have also been blocked off in order to prevent the gunmen from taking over the areas they had not yet been able to seize within the city.

There have also been fierce clashes in the districts along Street 20, in addition to the Al-Jazeera district where the detonation of an explosive device killed 4 security personnel and wounded 7 others. This has led the local government to advise security forces of a possible offensive by the gunmen to take control of the city.

In Fallujah, there have been heavy clashes and shelling in the areas along the main Baghdad - Fallujah highway. The clashes have also spread to Al-Garma. Security forces say the shelling has killed more than 20 gunmen in the southern and southwestern sectors of the city. The Fallujah General Hospital has announced that 3 citizens have been killed and 7 wounded by the ongoing fighting and indiscriminate shelling of a number of the city's districts.

Meanwhile, gunmen have blown up the Al-Saqlawiya Bridge that connects Fallujah with the way to Baghdad through Al-Saqlawiya township.

In Anbar's western regions, groups of gunmen are still controlling Al-Qa'im, Rawa, Ana, and Rutba, as well as some parts adjacent to Haditha where security forces have announced that they have reinforced their positions at the Haditha Dam to face a possible advance by the gunmen.

Friday, July 4, 2014

04 July 2014

There is an ongoing shelling of Fallujah and its environs since yesterday evening and through noontime today. Intermittent but fierce battle have been taking place in Al-Garma, northeast of Fallujah. A preliminary count in Fallujah today shows that 4 citizens have been killed and 9 were wounded, raising the overall totals in the city to 512 killed and 2,892 wounded.

In Anbar's western regions, the big police directorate in the town center of Ana was blown up by gunmen.

A security source has announced that air raids targeted the gathering of a number of gunmen from the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant in a house or a public place in Al-Qa'im. Yesterday air bombardment targeted areas along the boundary between Nineveh and Anbar governorates. We do not yet have any casualty reports regarding that operation.

There is a curfew in the western Anbar region, and there no nighttime Ramadan observances. Citizens are afraid, and furthermore there are shortages of food and domestic requirements for Ramadan.

Obviously, most Anbaris are praying for safety and security in their governorate in particular and throughout the other governorates.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

03 July 2014

A significant development today has been the heavy bombardment by Syrian regime forces of border areas between Syria and Iraq, in which initial casualty figures list the killing of 3 Iraqi citizens and the wounding of 7 others. The attacks were carried out by Syrian aircraft intermittently between last night and this afternoon.

In Ramadi, there are intermittent clashes still going on in various districts of the city, especially in the western sector of Ramadi where the Anbar Operations Command and the the army's 8th Division HQ are located, but there has not been any constant fighting in the area.

In Fallujah, there was prolonged indiscriminate shelling yesterday resulting in the killing of 4 residents and the wounding of 9 others, bringing the total number of deaths in Fallujah since the beginning of the crisis up to at least 506, with at least 2,982 wounded.

The gunmen are expected to advance eastwards in the coming hours after having seized control the western Anbar towns and townships. Clashes also erupted today on the outskirts of Haditha which the gunmen have not yet taken; there was a direct confrontation between gunmen and security forces supported by some tribal fighters. Initial reports indicate that 3 gunmen were killed, as were 7 from the combined security-tribal forces. Large numbers of security forces are massed at the Haditha Dam, for fear that the gunmen might attack the dam. Serious consequences would result in Haditha and Hit, should the gunmen seize the dam.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

02 July 2014

Intermittent fierce clashes have taken place in Fallujah for the third consecutive day. Today's casualty figures show that 9 residents have been killed and 9 were wounded by the accompanying shelling that has also targeted districts in Al-Garma that was also the scene of hours-long fighting in this eastern Anbar region.

In Ramadi, fierce clashes have taken place in the Al-Andalus district and in the southern sector that is still partially controlled by security forces. There are no reports of casualties but there has been a lot of damage. The western districts of Ramadi are still held by the gunmen who are being reinforced by others coming in from the governorate western regions that are still in the hands of the gunmen with the exception of Hit and Haditha townships. Haditha is fully surrounded by the gunmen and security forces are involved in operations around the Haditha Dam.

ISIL gunmen have taken down the barriers along the border between Syria and Iraq and the border is now fully open between the two countries. Syrian planes are carrying out missions in the area and also along the Nineveh portion of the border regions.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

01 July 2014

In Fallujah, the number of those killed since the outbreak of the Anbar crisis has exceeded 500 as a result of the military operations over the past six months. Yesterday a number of districts were shelled in central, northern, and northeastern Fallujah during which 9 people were killed and 14 were wounded, according to the Fallujah General Hospital.

The northern and northeastern sectors in Al-Garma were also the scenes of clashes including the environs of the Al-Ru'ood Bridge. A man and a child were killed in Al-Garma.

In Ramadi, there have been intermittent clashes and the sounds of explosions in the western parts of the city, and there are also military operations underway in the southern sector. We have also seen that residents have been returning to their homes in the city's central districts.

In Anbar's western regions, Syrian planes have attacked the town of Hseibah, part of the Al-Qa'im township. Three citizens were killed in the raids and 4 were wounded. The other areas under the control of the gunmen are relatively calm, particularly in Rawa, Ana, and Rutba. There has been some military action near the strategically important Haditha Dam. Haditha is basically under siege and people fear the consequence of the capture by the gunmen of this vital installation.