Iraq PM: Concern for people slowing Fallujah op

2016-06-01 20:32
Soldiers of the Basra regiment of Iraqi counterterrorism forces take up their positions during the fight for Fallujah. (Khalid Mohammed, AP)

Soldiers of the Basra regiment of Iraqi counterterrorism forces take up their positions during the fight for Fallujah. (Khalid Mohammed, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Baghdad - Concern for the plight of tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside Fallujah was slowing the operation to retake the Iraqi city from jihadists, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday.

"It would've been possible to end the battle quickly if protecting civilians wasn't one of the foundations of our plan," Abadi told commanders outside Fallujah in comments broadcast by state television.

Elite forces from the counter-terrorism service backed by police, army and paramilitary groups on Monday launched a new phase of the operation to retake Fallujah.

But they have so far failed to breach the centre of Fallujah, with commanders arguing that the Islamic State group was offering fierce resistance.

Abadi's comments suggest however that the pace of the operation was intentionally slowed in order to spare civilians whom the UN says are being used as human shields by ISIS.

There are an estimated 50 000 civilians trapped inside the city, which lies only 50km west of Baghdad and is one of only two major urban hubs controlled by ISIS in Iraq.

Humanitarian organisations, the Iraqi government itself and the country's most respected Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have all appealed for the plight of civilians to be given the utmost consideration.

Read more on:    isis  |  iraq

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.