Islamic State group hits back as Iraqi army moves into Falluja

On 23 May, Iraqi army started the battle for Falluja. Despite they entered the outskirts of the city, on 31 May the insurgents launched a counter-attack while 50,000 civilians still trapped. On 23 May, Iraqi army started the battle for Falluja. Despite they entered the outskirts of the city, on 31 May the insurgents launched a counter-attack while 50,000 civilians still trapped. LAURENT VAN DER STOCKT/LE MONDE

31 May 2016
Islamic State (IS) launches counter-attack against Iraqi army while 50,000 civilians still trapped. 

On 31 May 2016, no sooner had the Iraqi army entered the outskirts of the city of Falluja, than the insurgents launched a counter-attack. About 100 heavily armed IS fighters came at the army but did not use car bombs or suicide bombers. The army successfully repelled  the attack, killing 75 IS fighters.  In the city centre,  IS employed tunnels and snipers.The situation of 50,000 civilians inside the city is still precarious. Many have fled in the last week, often on foot and through disused drain pipes. 

There are reports of people losing their lives in their attempt to escape. Some have been killed or whipped by IS for attempting to leave. Some men and boys in the city have been killed for refusing to fight for IS. The IS fighters are widely accused of using civilians on the outskirts of the city as human shields.

On top of the threat from IS, there is still an ongoing humanitarian crisis. The city has been under a months-long siege that began with the blockage of  roads into the city. Food and water shortages have left civilians starving to death.


To know more, read:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36417199
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-falluja-idUSKCN0YM0OW
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/31/isis-fighting-back-as-iraqi-forces-try-to-take-centre-of-falluja

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