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Iraq: Fallujah shelled, Ramadi quiet Open in fullscreen

Baraa al-Shamari

Iraq: Fallujah shelled, Ramadi quiet

Several military campaigns have failed to liberate Fallujah from IS control [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 26 October, 2015

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Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded in Fallujah, in Iraq's Anbar province on Monday amid relative calm in Ramadi.

Dozens of civilians were killed or wounded in Fallujah, in Iraq's Anbar province, after western and central areas of the city were shelled on Monday, amid relative calm in the province's capital Ramadi, which had been seeing large military operations recently with the Iraqi forces closing in on the city after retaking the town of Baiji a week earlier.

Dr Fadhel Ali, who is the spokesman for the public health service in Fallujah, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the shelling of Fallujah's neighbourhoods by Iraqi forces and the Popular Mobilisation militia has killed 17 civilians and wounded 45 others, including nine children.

The shelling comes two days after the United Nations appealed for Iraqi forces to avoid targeting residential neighbourhoods and a call by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Saleem al-Jubouri for an investigation into violations committed by the security forces and the Popular Mobilisation.

The city has been under IS control since early 2014 and several military campaigns have failed to liberate it from them.

Hours before the shelling of Fallujah, 17 members of the Iraqi forces and the Popular Mobilisation were killed south of the city.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence did not comment on the shelling, but the Popular Mobilisation said that a number of "terrorists" were killed when they tried to attack military units and three IS hideouts were destroyed east of Anbar province.

In a related development, the deputy chairman of Anbar Provincial Council, Faleh al-Issawi, said that liberating the city of Ramadi requires more time because it is exposed from all sides, and that the security forces had fortified their positions around the city until advanced military supplies reach them.

No military operations have been carried out inside the city, he added.

Issawi said that IS has a large number of car bombs that are prepared to be blown up whenever any security or tribal forces try to enter Ramadi.

The mayor of Ramadi, Ibrahim al-Awsaj, said military operations in the city came to a hault since the liberation of the town of Baiji and its oil refinery in Salahuddin province, despite the Iraqi security forces and tribal militants having surrounded Ramadi from all sides.

Awsaj expressed his surprise at the decline in US enthusiasm after the liberation of Baiji.

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