Fallujah suburbs- Group of tribal fighters roll into Fallujah city to save its residents after calls of distress have risen by more than 105 thousand sieged citizens. People in the city are dying from hunger as ISIS has been controlling it since 2014 from one part and Iraqi security forces have been imposing strict security measures to prevent supplies from reaching the extremists from the four poles of the city.
Sheikh Rafea Al-Fahdawi, one of the senior leaders in Anbar province’s tribes that are fighting ISIS, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “We no longer tolerate this shameful and defective silence from the government. They know that our people are trapped in Fallujah where dozens of them are dying daily either from starvation or from aerial and artillery bombardment by ISIS.”
“Civilians are committing suicide in the city and this is why we are trying to figure out ways to save people besieged there,” he added.
Al-Fahdawi also said that, in the past few days, Anbar tribal fighters sneaked into neighborhoods of south Fallujah and were able to save more than 250 families.
He pointed out that tribal fighters need support from the government and that is what they have been asking for from PM Haider Al-Abadi and other officials in the central government. “If the government supported us, then Fallujah and other cities in Anbar province would have been completely liberated by now, and ISIS would have been eliminated,” Al-Fahdawi said.
On Tuesday, Asharq Al-Awsat witnessed one of the rescuing missions in Fallujah and met some of the liberated families.
Om Salam, 60, a retired civilian, said that running away from death and hunger has become the only solution for the citizens. We have heard that men from Anbar province are taking families to Al-Khalidiya, which is known for being safe.
Om Salam described the situation in the city, saying it is catastrophic. She said hundreds of children have died from hunger and thirst, and people there started eating grass to survive. She also said that even birds are no longer found in the city due to extensive hunting.
For his part, Sheikh Mohammed al-Shaabani, Leader of “Knights of the west” (Fursan Al-Gharbiya) forces, said that his forces are rolling into the besieged city in order to rescue and support its citizens, who are fighting against ISIS terrorist organization. The group was able to kill tens of ISIS militants, he added.
Al-Shaabani called government forces to intervene and save the lives of innocent people in Fallujah and end their misery.