Fighting in Iraq's Ramadi Displaces Thousands
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Thousands of families continue to flee the Iraqi city of Ramadi as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group closes in on the capital of Anbar province, clashing with Iraqi troops.
The UN has announced that more than 4,000 families fled Ramadi and its suburbs in the past few days due to the ongoing clashes between ISIL and Iraqi forces, which has turned the city into a ghost town.
More than 90,000 people in total have fled the city of Ramadi and surrounded areas since the beginning of clashes in Anbar province, according to the UN.
The UN also confirmed on Wednesday deaths among those trying to flee - including newborn babies - due to the lack of proper necessities and harsh conditions. Families have left their homes with little or nothing on their backs, Al Jazeera reported.
Riyad Adad, the head of the Baghdad Provincial Council, said that one hundred new born babies died as their families tried to flee Ramadi.
ISIL has controlled the nearby city of Fallujah for more than a year, and captured three villages on Ramadi's eastern outskirts on Wednesday.
The Iraqi special forces were still in control of Ramadi on Friday, after days of intense clashes, according to a special forces commander in Anbar, who said the situation had improved after air strikes hit key ISIL targets on the city's fringes.
The previous day, an official of the Ministry of Migration and the Displaced said that more than 2,000 fleeing Ramadi residents were settling in the southern and western suburbs of Baghdad, and tents, food and other aid were being sent to them.