News / Middle East

Iraqi Airstrikes Kill 19 Near Fallujah

Reuters

Iraqi government air strikes killed 19 people, including children, in Falluja on Monday and Tuesday, a health official in the militant-held city said.

The Iraqi army has been shelling Falluja, 70 km (44 miles west of Baghdad), for months, trying to drive out the Sunni militants from the group now known as Islamic State. The insurgents, backed by discontented local Sunni tribal leaders, overran the city in January.

Ahmed al-Shami, a spokesman for the Falluja health office — the local arm of the health ministry — said the 19 dead included women and children and that Falluja hospital had also received 38 wounded people since Monday evening.

Residents of Falluja and the nearby town of Garma said helicopters fired artillery and dropped three barrel bombs on Falluja and two on Garma.

Barrel bombs — powerful makeshift weapons made from high explosives, cement and metal parts packed into oil drums, usually dropped from helicopters — have gained notoriety in the region because of their use in neighboring Syria by President Bashar al-Assad's forces to flatten buildings in rebel-held areas.

Scores of people have been killed since January in what residents describe as indiscriminate bombardment. In May, witnesses in Falluja said barrel bombs had been dropped on the city.

The government denies indiscriminate attacks, saying it targets insurgents, but a mid-level security officer in Anbar province has previously confirmed that barrel bombs have been dropped on Fallujah.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's military spokesman, Lieutenant-General Qassim Atta, was not immediately available to comment on this week's attacks.

Some 560,000 people have fled Anbar province — a large area of western Iraq where Fallujah is situated — since the Islamic State takeover in January, according to the International Rescue Committee, a New York-based humanitarian organisation.

Islamic State took over a swath of northern territory last month in an assault that caused large numbers of government soldiers to desert, shifting the main battleground in a civil war that pits the Shi'ite-led Baghdad government against a well-equipped Sunni insurgency.

Maliki's office said on Tuesday he had met Sunni tribal leaders from several provinces where the conflict is raging. Anger with Maliki's government has encouraged some Sunni armed groups to stick with the hardline Islamic State despite ideological differences, officials and tribal leaders say.

The conflict, which threatens to break up Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines, has killed almost 5,600 civilians this year, according to the latest United Nations figures.

Twenty-three people, nine of them policemen, were killed late on Tuesday when a suicide bomber drove a car into a checkpoint at the entrance to the mostly Shi'ite Kadhimiya district of northern Baghdad, local police and a hospital source said. The sources said 52 people were wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

In the mainly Shi'ite town of Nahrawan east of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in a market on Tuesday, killing five people and wounding 13, police and medical sources said.

A roadside bomb targeting an army patrol in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad killed one soldier and wounded four, police and medical sources said. Two mortar rounds landed in the mostly Shi'ite area of Sabaa al-Bour just north of the capital, killing one person, police and medics there said.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in the capital, including a wave of car-bomb attacks on Saturday that killed at least 27 people.

In the town of Abu al-Khaseeb, south of the predominantly Shi'ite city of Basra, gunmen broke into a Sunni mosque on Tuesday during prayers, killing the preacher and kidnapping four men who were praying, police sources said.

The body of one of the kidnapped men was found dumped on the side of a road near the mosque, the sources said.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
July 23, 2014 11:29 AM
I would have thought the Iraqis'd have better ammo than improvised bombs, given all the US equipment they've been given. No doubt everything has been stolen. As for the war, I hope Obama doesn't repeat Raygun Ron's error in Lebanon or Bush the Elder's in Somalia, and send inadequate numbers of lightly armed troops to show the flag. Oops. He's done that already.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs