The population of Fallujah, Iraq, is dying out from a shortage of food, medicine and fuel, according to reports received from residents and local officials.
The city located 50 kilometers to the West of Baghdad and considered an age-old bastion for terrorist militia, was the first city in the country to fall under ISIL control in Jan 2014. Since 2015, it has been besieged by the Iraqi military and Iranian-backed Shia militants in an effort to drive out the ISIS.
It is estimated there are over 400 Daesh fighters in Fallujah, according to a UN-led coalition, however, the military analysts believe it is closer to a 1000.
Meanwhile, as the Iraqi army upped its attempt to take back Anbar— the province which makes up a third of Iraq’s territory— the routes which were a major source of food supply and access to the outside world were rendered inaccessible.
As was inevitable, the price of food in the city’s market has sky-rocketed and many eateries have resorted to rationing out food.
Sohaib al-Rawi, the governor of western Anbar, urged the U.S.-led coalition, in February, to airdrop food and medical supplies to aid the thousands of citizens trapped in Fallujah— as it remained the only safe way to transport food after the ISIS started looting the trucks carrying grains to the city and planted mines at its entrance to prevent residents from leaving.
Yet, even the terrible humanitarian crisis has triggered no action by the government, says Fallujah’s Governor Issa Sayyar Al Isawi.
Activists have launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #fallujah, which aims to create awareness of the city’s dire condition and hopes to get outside help.
The situation inside the city is growing worse every day..
“People started to grow vegetables in their backyards where it is possible,” said an activist, Mohammed Al Jumaili. “But that is not helping much."
A similar crisis is playing out in Syria where the OCHA, the UN office responsible for bringing aid to Syria allowed the Assad regime to downplay the Madaya crisis, resulting in a stoppage of food aid to the city.
It is estimated that over 27,000 foreign fighters have travelled to Syria and Iraq since 2011.
During the period from May 1 to Oct. 2015, the ongoing violence in Iraq caused a minimum of 10,911 casualties of civilians, killing at least 3,855 people and wounding 7,056. In 2015, up to 55,000 innocent residents died in the ensuing struggle in Syria.