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80 Iranian Military Consultants in Iraq to Participate in Fallujah Battle - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Fallujah-Eighty Iranian military consultants were sent to Iraq lately to participate in the Fallujah battle, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Monday.

The mission of the consultants is to support five of the dozens of factions fighting alongside the militia of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the ongoing Fallujah battle, the sources said.

These five factions, and which collaborate with Iran, are: the Bader Organization, the Saraya Ashura Organization, Ansar al-Marja’iyah, Ansar al-Aqeedah and Saraya al-Jihad.

Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani is currently present in Fallujah to personally supervise the battle.

Major Soleimani was sent by Iran as one of the consultants.

Shi’ite militants supported by Iran and currently present in Iraq say they are planning to enter Fallujah city, which is considered the stronghold of ISIS in Iraq, as soon as civilians leave.

This plan contradicts previous statements saying that the Shi’ite fighters would leave this mission to the Iraqi Armed Forces.

From his part, leader of Iraq’s PMF militia committee, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis said Sunday the Popular Mobilization Forces is a main partner in the operation to liberate Fallujah from ISIS.

The Mobilization Forces are ready to support the Iraqi Forces, he said, adding: “Despite the difficulty of the battles, we succeeded to move safely the displaced from the fighting zones” and to protect their belongings.

Al-Muhandis asserted the PMF does not need any help from the international coalition and that his forces were ready to fight next to Iraqi Forces.

On the other hand, several Iraqi political parties, parliamentarians and members form civil society denounced the violations of the rights of residents from Fallujah, particularly men who were capable to escape from ISIS control.

“One third of civilians who were capable to escape from ISIS and had already left the city of Fallujah, have fallen captive to the armed factions linked to the militias,” member of the Iraqi Parliament at the Anbar province, Deputy Ahmed al-Sulmani told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added militias linked to the PMF have captured 73 men from Fallujah, while 17 were killed under torture.

Separately, local leaders in the province of Anbar warned that a humanitarian disaster could hit hundreds of families who were able to escape from ISIS and had already left the city of Fallujah to Amiriyat al-Fallujah through the Euphrates River.

“More than 10,000 displaced from Fallujah have been able to escape from the hands of ISIS and have already reached the side of Amiriyat al-Fallujah, following an extremely difficult and dangerous trip,” Fallujah’s mayor Saadoun al-Shaalan told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The mayor called on the international community, human rights organizations and the Iraqi government to speed up the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those families.