The Other Face of U.S. 'Success' in Fallujah
Everyone saw it coming, only the U.S. forces did not: humanitarian disaster in Fallujah, and stronger resistance against U.S. and allied occupying forces all around Iraq.
BAGHDAD, Nov 15 (IPS) - Everyone saw it coming, only the U.S. forces
did not: humanitarian disaster in Fallujah, and stronger resistance
against U.S. and allied occupying forces all around Iraq.
The real face of the 'success' of the U.S. military assault in Fallujah
is now beginning to present itself. Thousands of families remain
inside Fallujah with no food, clean water or medical assistance.
No one can say how many of the 1,200 'rebels' U.S. forces claim to have
killed inside Fallujah are civilians, or whether the death toll is
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society, which is supported by the Red Cross and
the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has called the situation in
Fallujah a "big disaster".
The Iraqi Red Crescent has several teams of relief workers and doctors,
and truckloads of food waiting for the authorisation from the
U.S.-backed interim government and the U.S. military, but they have not
been allowed in.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed
concern for the civilians left in the city. "All those taking part in
the combat have a responsibility to spare civilians and give access to
the wounded," ICRC spokesman Rana Sidani said in a statement.
U.S. forces have said they will now carry out 'humanitarian' tasks on
their own. It could be too late, going by the people's voices that are
Muna Salim who managed to flee the city with her sister after the rest
of their family was killed by U.S. bombs, said Fallujah had turned from
a battlefield to a ghost town in recent days.
"Most families stayed inside their houses all the time," she said after
reaching Baghdad. "We were always very hungry because we didn't want to
eat our food or drink all of the water. We never knew if we would be
able to get more, so we tried to be careful." She could not bring
herself to talk of the killings.
"The Americans didn't care about us," said a young refugee who gave his
name only as Ahmed. He arrived in Baghdad with most of his family three
days back. "All the medical people left the city and the only people in
the city are Fallujans or from Ramadi or other cities who came to try
People in Fallujah had been left helpless, he said. "Anyone who left
their house would either be shot by American snipers or recruited by
Mujahideen," he said. "So we stayed inside most of the time and prayed.
The more the bombs exploded the more we prayed and cried."
Ahmed says he did not expect to survive. "Every night we said goodbye
one another because we expected to die," he said. "You could see areas
where all the houses were flattened, there was just nothing left. We
could get water at times, but there was no electricity ever."
U.S. forces had bombed families in their homes, he said. "Even those of
us who do not fight, we are suffering so much because of the U.S. bombs
and tanks. Can't they see this is turning so many people against them?"
Iraqi resistance has taken control of many cities across Iraq following
the U.S. siege of Fallujah. Despite U.S. military claims of being in
control of Mosul in the north, al-Jazeera reported that the U.S.
military, Iraqi police and National Guardsmen have disappeared from the
streets and armed men wearing masks are wandering freely around.
A freelance journalist in the city told al-Jazeera on telephone from
city: "The situation is very bad, there is no security, only armed
resistance groups on the streets, and it seems there is no government
Mosul." The U.S. military says it has taken back control of Mosul
stations and other areas. Iraqi rebels are now also in control of large
areas of Ramadi, Samarra, Haditha, Baquba, Hiyt, Qaim, Latifiyah,Taji
and Khaldiyah. Fighting has been reported also in the Shia holy city
The uprising has spread across the capital as well. The districts
al-Dora, al-Amiriyah, Abu Ghraib, al-Adhamiya and Khan Dhari are now
largely controlled by resistance fighters.
U.S. military vehicles have been damaged and destroyed near the city
Hiyt. Fighting has spread to the normally peaceful town Hilla, just
south of Baghdad.
"The security situation there has gone from bad to worse," Ali Abdulla,
a 35-year-old carpenter from Hilla said. "You can hear the fighting all
around the city now, and the resistance is fighting against the Polish
Abdulla said this was the first time there had been fighting between
Polish troops and resistance fighters.
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