The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPatrick Cockburn Archive
Iraqi Forces End Isis's Two-Year Occupation of Fallujah
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Iraqi security forces are driving out Isis fighters from the government compound in the centre of Fallujah, the city 40 miles west of Baghdad which Isis has held for two-and-a-half years.

Heavily armed Interior Ministry police units say they raised the Iraqi flag over the main government buildings on Friday, including the police station and court houses, in the latest stage of an attack that began on 23 May.

Clouds of smoke were rising from the centre of Fallujah as it was hit by airstrikes and artillery fire, while Isis snipers in the General Teaching Hospital tried to pick off advancing government troops.

After a week of heavy fighting on the outskirts of the city, a government spokesman said that Isis resistance had weakened. The offensive is led by elite federal police and Counter-Terrorism Service troops advancing along Baghdad Street that bisects the city, which had a population of 300,000 before it was seized by Isis in January 2014. The number of the government forces has been put at 20,000, the majority of whom belonging to the Shia paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Units (Hashd al-Shaabi).

Some 90,000 civilians remained in the city at the start of the present assault, of whom 68,000 have fled, many of them over the past twenty-four hours since Isis reversed its previous policy of forbidding anybody to leave on pain of death.

Witnesses say that Isis was announcing by loudspeakers that everybody could leave, leading 6,000 families to depart on Thursday alone. Two bridges over the Euphrates River were opened, allowing people to get away from the city centre.

But displacement camps have been overwhelmed. The former mayor of Fallujah before the Isis takeover, Issa al-Issawi, who now resides outside the city said: “We don’t know how to deal with this large number of civilians.”

The exodus of people from the city was also enabled by Isis fighters suddenly retreating from important checkpoints inside Fallujah witnesses told the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The nature of this retreat is important because it could mean that Isis leaders have decided not to risk suffering devastating casualties among their experienced fighters by resisting to the last man in the face of an attack backed by US-led airstrikes which was bound to win in the end.

Isis pursued similar tactics in Ramadi, Sinjar and Tikrit of using snipers, mines and booby traps but fading away at the last minute, often using elaborate networks of tunnels in which to hide and later escape.

Nevertheless, the capture Fallujah by Iraqi government forces, though still continuing and incomplete, is the most serious defeat suffered by Isis in Iraq. Its loss is so significant because the city is close to Baghdad and it has an historic significance for Sunni Arabs as a place always sympathetic to fundamentalist Islam which resisted the US in two famous sieges in 2004.

ORDER IT NOW

The Sunni Arabs make up a fifth of Iraq’s 33 million population and their whole community is under pressure as their population centres are captured by the Iraqi security forces and Shia paramilitaries. Many people who once lived in Fallujah have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan because they cannot take refuge in Shia-dominated Baghdad where Shia often suspect displaced Sunni civilians of being Isis infiltrators. Men of all ages leaving Fallujah were being detained on Friday amid claims that some had been murdered and tortured earlier in the week by Shia paramilitaries.

It is unclear how badly Fallujah has been damaged by airstrikes and shellfire, but Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, was 70 per cent destroyed by artillery and bombing in the second half of last year at the end of which it was recaptured. Most of its population has yet to go home. Human Rights organisations report that men from the city were confined in conditions so cramped that they could not lie down for days at a time.

Iraqi commanders say that Isis is at its last gasp, but this is an exaggeration and in other parts of Iraq it has been able to make limited counter-attacks, killing 24 policemen at Tuz Kharmatu south of Kirkuk. Isis is likely fight much harder for Mosul, which, with a population that once numbered two million, is by far the largest city held by Isis

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iraq, ISIS 
Hide 11 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Rehmat says:

    That scared the hell out of Bibi, Erdogan and the Crypto-Jewish Saudi ‘royals’.

    Netanyahu visited Moscow on June 6 for the fourth since 2015. Sensing Washington’s influence in the Middle East on decline – Netanyahu has tilted towards Moscow which is fighting alongside Iran and Lebanese Hizbullah Islamic resistance to keep Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in power, Putin is the closest thing to a guarantor that Israel’s three most potent enemies will not attack it from the north.

    On June 16, 2016, Turkish president Erdogan’s, a closet Zionist, hand-picked new prime minister Binali Yıldırım sent a reconciliatory message to the Zionist regime that despite Ankara government’s anti-Israel rhetoric, there is no enmity between the two countries.

    “We are coming to a point with Israel. They are also showing will. There are contacts. It’s not concluded yet. I don’t think it will take long. The determinative thing here is eliminating the isolation of Gaza for humanitarian purposes,” he said in an interview.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/06/18/turkish-pm-extends-olive-branch-to-israel/

    • Replies: @anonymous
  2. dearieme says:

    Golly, W’s madcap invasion has worked out really we’ll, hasn’t it?

  3. unit472 says:

    One wonders, if ISIS were it to lose its territorial base, what would become of its front line fighters. Its a reasonable assumption they wouldn’t stick around in a Shia led, Iranian backed,Iraq but would decamp to regions where they would have more freedom to operate.

    It does not appear Iraq ( or the Syrian regime) have the combat power to decisively defeat and capture Islamic States forces so is there a plan or objective for the US that works for us? About the last thing we would want is thousands of IS troops, including their oh so effective car and suicide bomb builders, being chased out of Syria and Iraq and showing up in the West or destabilizing Saudi Arabia, Egypt, you name it.

    Right now Islamic State’s territory acts as a sump into which Muslim psychotics residing in the West can drain. Why we hinder them from traveling there and provide support to the forces fighting them is a mystery. Do we want to help Iran build its Shia empire? I don’t like IS but as they say the enemy of my enemy is my friend and as long as IS is busy battling Shia led regimes they aren’t bothering us.

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  4. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Rehmat

    as usual, the filthy indian rehmaat supports the god-forsaken rawafid

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  5. Renoman says:

    Muslims killing Muslims, the American dream!

  6. Rehmat says:
    @anonymous

    As usual the filthy Zionists are whining over their proxy’s defeat in both Iraq and Syria.

    On May 24, 2016, ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller, an Israel-First creep, posted an article on his personal blog, entitled, ‘Glimmers of a Future in Iraq?’. In the article, the writer paints Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose fighters inflicted a humiliating defeat on US forces led by Zioconservatives’ hero Gen. David Petraeus in Fallujah as a moderate, national, and anti-Iran Iraqi Shi’ite leader….

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/05/29/ex-cia-official-on-iraqs-future/

    • Replies: @anonymous
  7. MEexpert says:
    @unit472

    What do you have against Shias?

    All the 911 attackers were Sunnis. Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS are all Sunnis. These are the people that are fighting Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Sunni Saudi Arabia is the biggest supporter of all these terrorist groups. Syria, Egypt, and Jordan attacked Israel. All the terrorist attacks in the US, Europe, and Middle East have been carried out by the Sunnis. Iran has never attacked either Israel or the US. Hezbollah is at war with only Israel which not only occupied Lebanon but is also helping all these terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Hezbollah has never attacked either the US or any European country. Only Hezbollah and the Shia militias are fighting, with the help of Iran, the ISIS, al-Qaeda and the other splinter terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Even Sunni Turkey is helping the ISIS.

    So again, why are you against the Shias?

    • Replies: @unit472
  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Rehmat

    rehmat ibn saba’ continues his blog shilling

  9. unit472 says:
    @MEexpert

    Taking American hostages, the bombing of the Marine Barracks, the kidnapping and torture of William Buckley, a host of Ayatollahs. Israel can take care of itself but the fact that Iran has not attacked them is laughable unless you believe Hezbollah’s missiles are homemade.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  10. Rehmat says:

    Looks like the Israeli dog sentenced to death stoning in 2011 has returned.

    https://rehmat1.com/2011/06/17/israeli-dog-sentenced-to-death-by-stoning/

  11. El Dato says:
    @unit472

    Well, it’s “armed conflict” and all that.

    Now, if you want to start a rap sheet, the CIA will start with a serious advantage in “regime change” evil back from the Mossadeq era. So, I would think they are a legit target for Hezbollah, “game’s on” etc.

    Note that the bombing of the Marine Barracks was an (asymmetric) act of war (as opposed to “terrorism”) of Hezbollah (a part-Israeli creation in any case) against the US (it’s what it says on the tin: “Marine Barracks”) and Ronald “The Gipper” Reagan took the one correct decision: “Fuck that, I’m outta here!”

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Patrick Cockburn Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Full Story of the Taliban's Amazing Jailbreak
"They Can't Even Protect Themselves, So What Can They Do For Me?"
"All Hell is Breaking Loose with Muqtada" Warlord: the Rise of Muqtada al-Sadr