Civilian Casualty Concerns Slow Fallujah Recapture Operation: Iraqi Commander
BAGHDAD (Tasnim) – A commander of the Iraqi voluntary forces said concerns about causing any harm to civilians in the beleaguered city of Fallujah have blunted the Iraqi forces’ operation for retaking the city from the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
In an interview with Tasnim, Abu Haidar al-Jaberi, a commander of the Popular Mobilization Units or Hashid al-Shaabi, said plans are ready for the security forces to enter Fallujah and flush out terrorists.
However, he added, the huge number of civilians in the city, whom Daesh has used as human shield, impedes progress into the town.
Efforts are underway to open up safe corridors for the civilians residing in Fallujah and evacuate them from the city, al-Jaberi added.
The Iraqi army says it has cut off all access routes to Fallujah that Daesh terrorists used for logistic support.
Led by the elite counter-terrorism service (CTS), Iraq’s best trained and most seasoned fighting unit, the Iraqi army entered Fallujah on May 30 in a major offensive that began a week earlier.
In January 2014, Fallujah, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, became the first Iraqi city to fall under the control of the terrorists, six months before they declared a caliphate over territory seized in Iraq and Syria.