News / Middle East

Iraqi PM Urges Expulsion of Al-Qaida in Fallujah

FILE -  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq.
FILE - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq.
Edward Yeranian
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling on residents of the mostly Sunni-populated Anbar Province town of Fallujah to expel pro- al-Qaida militants who appear to control their city.  Witnesses say Iraqi government forces outside the city are bombarding areas inside, while warning an offensive could start soon.

In a statement read on state television, Maliki urged Iraqis to “help the government and army to fight terrorists.”  He went on to urge residents to “expel” the Islamic militants who control the city.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
A resident of Fallujah indicated he fled because foodstuffs and basic necessities were running short.  Scores of residents have been leaving the city as conditions deteriorate.  Some reports say Islamic militants are now blocking exits from Fallujah.

Falah al Aissawi, a member of the Anbar provincial council, told al-Arabiya TV that “no Iraqi police or army troops remain inside [Fallujah].”  Witnesses reported that Iraqi helicopters and field artillery were bombing positions in at least two areas of the city.

Al-Qaida-linked Sunni insurgents who have been fighting in neighboring Syria took over parts of Iraq's Anbar Province last week.  

The situation is complicated by rising violence between Iraq's minority Sunnis and majority Shi'ites during the past year.  Shi'ite Maliki's government has little support in the province.

Tribal fighters aligned with government forces are seen patrolling the streets in the city of Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad Jan. 5, 2014.Tribal fighters aligned with government forces are seen patrolling the streets in the city of Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad Jan. 5, 2014.
x
Tribal fighters aligned with government forces are seen patrolling the streets in the city of Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad Jan. 5, 2014.
Tribal fighters aligned with government forces are seen patrolling the streets in the city of Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad Jan. 5, 2014.
The situation in Anbar began deteriorating after government forces stormed a Sunni sit-in protest camp last week in Ramadi.  The arrest of a prominent Sunni member of parliament further exacerbated tensions.  Sunni tribal leaders continue to demand his release.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Hassan al Shammari accused Maliki and his supporters of allowing Islamic militants to escape from prison last summer in order to create chaos in the country.  There was no immediate response to the claim from the government.

In contrast, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told al Sharqiya TV, that the “situation inside [neighboring] Syria is behind the worsening violence in Iraq.”  He urged Iraqis to “stick together and talk with one another” to put an end to the conflict.

Iranian media reported that Tehran's Deputy Military Commander Mohammed Hijazi had offered “weapons and other aid” to the the Iraqi government, if it asks for help.  But he said Iran would “not supply ground troops."

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JR from: SAINT PAUL
January 06, 2014 4:40 PM
What a terrible place to live the Earth is becoming! Everywhere violence, fear and death.


by: Bernard from: USA
January 06, 2014 12:56 PM
is this revolting Iranian collaborator trying to involve US in removing his legitimate Sunni Arab Democratic opposition...??? Hey Kerry give him the "peace solution" you gave the Israelis... see how he will react...


by: C. Wayne Ashcraft from: Alameda, CA
January 06, 2014 12:53 PM
The current situation in Iraq is just a reminder that the notion of nationhood is still a long way off. Tribalism linked to a sect of Islam dominates which is the basis for a civil war. It also explains the absence of a peacemaker like Martin Luther King or Mandela. This is a sad situation where there is the absence of imagination to resolve the differences between the Islamic sects.


by: Whistleblower from: District Of Criminals
January 06, 2014 10:09 AM
Expel the CIA, and you will expel Al-Qaeda, whom the CIA created, arms, fund$, runs, and trains. Just the FACTS, people.
TIME TO WAKE UP.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid