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U.S. Refers Humanitarian Violations in Fallujah to Abadi’s Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi security forces gather near Fallujah, Iraq, May 31, 2016. Reuters

Baghdad-The United States has referred violations committed against civilians in the Fallujah battle to the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad Stuart Jones stressed, however, that reports about human rights violations in Fallujah have not been confirmed yet.

Jones said at a press conference he held in Baghdad on Monday that Abadi has expressed concern at the violations committed against civilians and ordered an investigation.

“We are pleased by the Prime Minister’s concern over civilian lives in Fallujah,” the diplomat said.

The U.S. ambassador said he was proud of the support of humanitarian organizations for the refugees, saying 800 million dollars have been allocated for the displaced, of which 395 million dollars were spent last year.

The funding comes as part of Washington’s support for Abadi’s government as it tries to tighten its grip on Fallujah, that lies 60 kilometers west of Baghdad, and force ISIS out of the city.

The U.S. loan to the Iraqi government will fund the purchase of F16 fighter jets and M1 tanks. Baghdad has not yet received the funds pending a final approval.

Asked about Washington’s support for tribal factions in Anbar and Sahwat, the U.S. Ambassador said it was up to Iraqi Forces to liberate Sahwat, adding that local forces are capable of pushing ISIS out of the area.

“The U.S. has delivered arms to some tribes after receiving the consent of the Iraqi forces,” he said.

Jones stressed that his country is keen on defeating ISIS in Iraq so that it is capable of extending authority on its territories.

“We are coordinating with Iraqi officials on the air strikes, and providing Iraq with equipment, weapons and training,” he added.

On the reconstruction of liberated areas, Ambassador Jones said that the U.S. has been collaborating with UNDO since Tikrit was recaptured from ISIS last year.

Washington has contributed 15 million dollars to bring back water and electricity supplies and provide several other services to Tikrit citizens. “This has allowed scores of people to return back home.”

The World Bank has also allocated 350 million dollars to contribute to the reconstruction of areas that have been damaged by the fighting.

Meanwhile, security expert Hisham Hashimi told Asharq Al-Awsat that U.S. fighter jets are carrying out five to six forays daily.

“During each foray, the jets carry out dozens of air strikes,” targeting ISIS bases, he said.