Fallujah, Baghdad- Iraqi Armed Forces apprehended aroun 20,000 refugees who had escaped ISIS-fighting clashes in Fallujah, west of Baghdad. Displaced civilians are being held for investigations as to check whether any ISIS militants or extremists have attempted to getaway between the crowds.
Thousands of civilians have escaped Fallujah as government forces advanced towards restoring control over the city from terrorist groups. Fleeing the battle-premise, some of the civilians were reportedly held by government forces and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which apparently treated displaced civilians with unwarranted brutality featuring cases of torture and physical abuse.
Fallujah battles, having lasted a month, came to an end as leaderships announced the full liberation of Fallujah. Control was reinstated over the Jolan neighborhood, one of the city’s largest residential areas, and has been reported ISIS-free.
Iraqi General Officer Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Iraqi army and counterterrorism units along with other forces have been able to free and cleanse the Jolan neighborhood from ISIS militants, hence putting all Fallujah areas under full government control.
The Iraq News Agency reported that over 11,605 refugees have been released out of 13,790 people who underwent questioning. What is more is that almost 7,000 people are still up for review. Round the clock efforts are being spent so that investigations are completed in Habbaniyah’s penitentiary, east of Fallujah.
Four days after being held by PMF militants made up of Shi’ite factions, one of the released prisoners said that he was kept without any food or water. Another released detainee reported that he was brutally tortured and underwent physical abuse. Officials and humanitarian rights organizations expressed rising concerns due to the bigoted sectarian-fueled torture Fallujah’s Sunni residents are experiencing on the hands of PMF militants.
On another hand, disorder and tribal clashes occurring in the wake of freeing ISIS-held territory are causing future concerns among Iraqi politicians.