Monday, June 6, 2016

ISIS shooting civilians trying to flee Falluja, NGO says

Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT) June 6, 2016

 (CNN)ISIS is targeting civilians attempting to leave the militant-held city of Falluja, as Iraqi forces and militia attempt to wrest back control of the city, a European non-profit operating in Iraq says.
As many as 50,000 residents remain trapped in the center of Falluja as Iraqi security forces close in, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) told CNN Monday. Many of those who try to escape the clutches of ISIS are being targeted and shot by militants, it said.
"Our biggest fears are now tragically confirmed with civilians being directly targeted while trying to flee to safety," NRC Country Director in Iraq Nasr Muflahi said.
"This is the worst that we feared would happen to innocent men, women and children who have had to leave everything behind in order to save their lives."
Falluja, which lies 65 km (40 miles) from the capital Baghdad, has been held by the militant group since 2014, and is the subject of a concerted push to retake ISIS-controlled territory across Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi Army Seen as Ill Equipped to Retake Mosul From ISIS, Despite U.S. Aid

WASHINGTON — An exhausted and ill-equipped Iraqi Army faces daunting obstacles on the battlefield that will most likely delay for months a long-planned major offensive on the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, American and allied officials say.
The delay is expected despite American efforts to keep Iraq’s creaky war machine on track. Although President Obama vowed to end the United States’ role in the war in Iraq, in the last two years the American military has increasingly provided logistics to prop up the Iraqi military, which has struggled to move basics like food, water and ammunition to its troops.
Without the help, Americans commanders said, the offensive against Mosul would most likely fail.

Advances on IS Strongholds Underlines US, Russia Convergence


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