ISIS Marches Towards Baghdad, Families Fleeing Ramadi Denied Entry
Numerous Iraqis who escaped the ISIS stronghold in Ramadi have been denied entry into the safety of Baghdad.
According to Daily Mail, over 20,000 Iraqis, who now find themselves trapped between ISIS militants in Ramadi and Baghdad 60 miles to the east, are forced to live in the open unprotected territory.
Last week, ISIS launched an attack against the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor against President Bashar al-Assad’s holdouts in the military air base. The militant group also attacked a regime base in the central city of Palmyra and launched an offensive against the Syrian and the regime in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, the provinces of Homs and Hama, and the southern city of Quneitra.
Since the group took over Ramadi, it has attacked the town of Khalidiya. Having taken hold of another village between Ramadi and their controlled territory in Fallujah is an indication that the militant group is progressing towards Baghdad.
Seven airstrikes were launched by the United States a day before the city fell into the hands of the militants. Moreover, local officials in Ramadi had declared that the city would be overrun if urgent reinforcements were not received. However, neither U.S. help nor the local support was adequate to save the city.
Many Iraqis living in the open in towns like Amiriyat Fallujah are being forced to thrive without shelter or aid. Aid agencies in Baghdad said that the military wasn’t able to confirm whether the people seeking to cross the Euphrates river and into the city are not associated with ISIS.
According to the DARY Humanitarian Organization, the people who’ve been denied entry into the gates of Baghdad are under threat of an attack should ISIS make their way towards the city.
President Alaa Obiead said, “There were more than 8,000 people fleeing violence and fear of being killed by Islamic State and I expect that figure has now reached more than 20,000.
“I can also confirm that other people are trapped in their homes in downtown Ramadi because of the control of Islamic State there.
“A lot of people from Anbar are stuck in Amiriyat Fallujah without shelter because of the closure of the only bridge leading to the capital, Baghdad.”
The International Organization for Migration revealed that 2.8 million families have been displaced within the Iraq since 2014.
Although several efforts to offer humanitarian assistance have been made by the United Nations, the ration packs distributed to people fleeing Ramadi can only last as much as three days.
The UN said, “Funding for these life-saving programmes is nearly exhausted. By June, 56 health programmes will be forced to close… In July, the food pipeline will break.
According to Fox News, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, said in a statement, “Nothing is more important right now than helping the people fleeing Ramadi.
“They are in trouble and we need to do everything possible to help them.”
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