Wednesday, November 12, 2014

12 November 2014

The central and southern districts of Ramadi have today experienced the most violent clashes following a recent period of relative calm, between groups of ISIL gunmen and security forces supported by tribal fighters. The clashes escalated at dawn this morning and have been continuing into this evening. The result has been that the gunmen have retreated deep into the southern districts. This might be the beginning of the military campaign aimed at liberating all of the ISIL-held districts of the city.
Fierce clashes have also taken place in the northern rural areas of the city, involving Iraqi airstrikes. A source at the Anbar Operations Command has announced the formation of fighting units composed of 3,000 men belonging to a number of Anbar tribes, following the completion of their training at the Ayn Al-Asad Base in Baghdadi. These forces will support the security forces charged with liberating and re-taking Hit township from the ISIL gunmen.

In Fallujah, at least 7 residents have been reported injured in the exchanges of bombardment between the security forces on the city's perimeter and the ISIL gunmen controlling the inner city.

Humanitarian support and relief aid is still very weak: the Fallujah General Hospital has announced severe medical shortages, while the blockaded townships of Haditha and Baghdadi are being deprived by ISIL of any kind of food or fuel supplies. There is an airlift operating between Baghdad and Baghdadi, but the supplies it is providing fall far short of the requirements that have increased with the increased number of displaced families.

The mentioned military activity comes in the wake of the visit by the Parliament's Speaker, Saleem Al-Juburi, to Ayn Al-Asad and to the Provincial Seat where he held a number of emergency meetings that resulted in the approval of arming the tribes and providing the security forces with the weapons and munitions required by the broad campaign that could recapture the areas and townships that have been seized by ISIL.

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