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.

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