Lift the Siege: Time to Stop the Starving and Deaths in Fallujah

Peace Ambassadors for Iraq (PAFI) is highly concerned over the tragic situation faced by the civilian population in Fallujah, Iraq. There have been numerous reports regarding the siege on the city which is resulting in the deaths of innocent people and the starving and suffering of children, women and the elderly.

The residents of Fallujah have been unable to leave their homes since the beginning of the so-called “liberation” of the city by government forces. The people of the city are being held hostage by government forces and those of Daesh (ISIS). Both sides’ tactics are characterized by extremism and brutality in taking revenge on each other and harming the struggling residents of Fallujah.

It is clear from UN reports on the humanitarian situation, that the blockade of the city by government forces and its militias is causing the deaths of many innocent people through hunger and disease, as well as due to the acute shortages of medicine and other vital needs. The Humanitarian Coordinator at the United Nations in Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, in her statement to Reuters, has already expressed concern about these cases.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that at least a dozen civilians have died of starvation due to the blockade imposed by the Iraqi army and the militias. This is one of the many cases monitored by the international media. Reports have included the fact that local residents have been forced to eat grass to escape starving to death, as had happened to the population of the Syrian city of Madaya who were also under siege.

The Iraqi government and its militia forces have led directly to this tragic situation by preventing residents from leaving the city.

PAFI calls for the immediate lifting of this devastating siege before further innocent people are killed. We appeal to the United Nations and all other international bodies to take a humanitarian role in providing emergency aid to the city.

Sheikh Jamal al-Dhari

President | Peace Ambassadors for Iraq

Further reading on the situation in Fallujah

Fallujah, Besieged by Iraqi Army, Faces Serious Food Shortage – Voice of America

Blockade of Occupied Fallujah Takes Toll on Civilians – The Wall Street Journal

Iraqis running out of food and medicine in besieged Fallujah – Reuters

The Long Road to Fallujah and Mosul – The National Interest

Iraq’s troubled finances slow efforts to rebuild Ramadi – Reuters

Thousands of civilians are trapped in Iraq and in desperate need of humanitarian assistance – United Nations News Center

Thousands face starvation in Iraq’s Fallujah as siege tightens – Middle East Eye

Assassinations, unrest and military defeat – has the tide turned against Islamic State? – The Telegraph

Iraqi Forces Capture Ramadi from ISIS, Look Toward Fallujah, Mosul – International Business Times


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