Iraqi forces claim control over entrances to Fallujah
The intense fighting in Anbar Province has caused thousands of Iraqi citizens to flee. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Air Force as an alert
Disable alert for Air Force,
Click here to add al-Qaeda as an alert
Disable alert for al-Qaeda,
Click here to add Ali Al-Suleiman as an alert
Disable alert for Ali Al-Suleiman,
Click here to add Anbar Governorate Council as an alert
Disable alert for Anbar Governorate Council,
Click here to add Asharq Al-Awsat as an alert
Disable alert for Asharq Al-Awsat,
Click here to add Baghdad as an alert
Disable alert for Baghdad,
Click here to add Fallujah as an alert
Disable alert for Fallujah,
Click here to add Governorate Council as an alert
Disable alert for Governorate Council,
Click here to add Iraqi military as an alert
Disable alert for Iraqi military,
Click here to add ISIS as an alert
Disable alert for ISIS,
Click here to add Mostafa Al-Arsan as an alert
Disable alert for Mostafa Al-Arsan,
Click here to add Qasim Mohamed Abed as an alert
Disable alert for Qasim Mohamed Abed,
Click here to add Rafea Al-Fahdawi as an alert
Disable alert for Rafea Al-Fahdawi
Iraqi forces claimed to have taken control of the main entrances of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, on Sunday, in preparation for plans to storm the city, following the failure of attempts to find peaceful solutions for the crisis in the province of Anbar.
Iraqi security forces began surrounding the city of Fallujah on Saturday in preparation for storming the city, while the ISIS stronghold in the industrial district was bombarded by the air force in order to weaken the group prior to the entry into the city, which the al Qaeda-affiliated group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has controlled for more than four months.
Sheikh Rafea Al-Fahdawi, leader of the pro-government Boufahd tribe, also told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iraqi security forces had finally begun to sever the supply lines of insurgents from ISIS in the city, raising the security forces’ odds of success.
He said: “the military operations in Anbar continue, with either clashes between the two sides, or at the level of attempting to disrupt the supply lines of ISIS, which happened recently and for the first time since the start of military operation.”
Fahdawi added: “The military forces managed to take control of the areas of Hamirah, and Al-Tas, south of Ramadi, which are the main supply routes for ISIS, and have started to prepare plans to eject them from the area . . . There are many other areas under the control of the insurgents, including Al-Khalidiyah between Fallujah and Ramadi, with ongoing military clashes, the worst of which are near Fallujah, especially in the Al-Sajar area where fighting continues, and which is seen as an important area to hold in order to control Fallujah.”
Meanwhile, Adhal Al-Fahdawi, a member of the Anbar Governorate Council, told Asharq Al-Awsat that a peaceful solution to the crisis in the province was still possible.
Anbar’s provincial capital, Ramadi, and the city of Fallujah were seized by insurgents—including members of ISIS—at the end of December. While the Iraqi security forces claim to have recaptured Ramadi, the province remains the site of clashes, with the Iraqi military and allied tribal militias attempting to secure other population centers, including Fallujah.
Fahdawi said: “There exists an opportunity for a peaceful solution to the Fallujah crisis, which was proposed by former Anbar Governor Qasim Mohamed Abed, and which came as a result of negotiations with tribal leaders, including tribal revolutionaries led by Ali Al-Suleiman, and the military council.”
Fahdawi added: “The Governorate Council adopted this initiative, except for parties within it who refused to accept the initiative, not by rejecting it publicly, but by employing delaying tactics like missing meetings which needed to ratify the decision on the issue.”
On the economic front, the Iraqi central government has agreed to lend Anbar’s provincial government 85 million US dollars to rebuild the governorate, according to the Anbar deputy governor for administrative affairs, Mostafa Al-Arsan.
- Fighting continues in Fallujah despite US claims of controlling city streets
- Iraqi forces prepare to attack Al Qaeda-controlled Fallujah, 20 killed in Baghdad bombings
- Iraq: Militants take control of Fallujah dam as car bombs rock Baghdad
- Iraqi forces launch military operation in Fallujah
- Iraqi tribes "recapture majority" of Anbar province, partial calm restored