Iraqi Forces Entered Fallujah


Time: 5:12 p.m. CEST

Iraqi forces entered quickly central areas of Fallujah on Friday, the New York Times publishes. Thousands of civilians fled overwhelming the abilities of aid agencies to care for them. The Iraqi counterterrorism forces raised the Iraqi flag on the main government building in central Fallujah. The city is about 40 miles, west of Baghdad. Thousands of civilians escape using two bridges over the Euphrates River.

The United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, explained about 10,000 families, or 60,000 people move toward camps in the western Anbar Province. The camps already needed basic supplies, among them tents and clean drinking water, the Times writes.

Iraqi authorities use a controversial practice, says Times, “To separate men and boys from women, children and the elderly, among those fleeing Islamic State areas.”

The boys and men are taken to detention centers and interrogated about any ties to the Islamic State, the Times’ Tim Arango writes in the article Iraqi Forces entered Fallujah, encountering little fight from ISIS. Even though, “The process is seen as necessary for security reasons, but vulnerable to abuses, especially if the Shiite militias take part,” the Time adds. Sunni officials already said the militias have tortured many men.

The governor of Anbar Province said that 49 men have been executed. People suspected of abuse have been arrested, said a spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Despite, concerns exists the security forces could not carry out adequate screening and that militants also flee mixed with the civilian population.

The Times publishes a statement of Karl Schembri, a spokesman for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Baghdad. Schembri said that, beginning on Thursday, “Islamic State militants had been withdrawing from positions inside the city, allowing civilians to begin fleeing.”

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