Iraq

Iraq: Al Qa'im crisis - Towards a new Fallujah?

Six month after the last dramatic crisis in Fallujah, the situation is again rapidly worsening in the Al-Anbar governorate, in the region of Qa'im near the Syrian border.
Clashes in Qa'im have started at the end of April, between the Arab fighters of Al-Zarwqawi group Al-Tawheed Wal Jihad and the main local tribe of Albu Mahal. The fighting exploded after the killing of a prominent police officer by the Arab fighters: according to different sources, the violent reaction of the local communities would have been triggered by their willingness to avoid the replication of a Fallujah-like crisis, with the presence of foreign combatants in a town put under siege by the MNF and the Iraqi army.

«Nevertheless the phantom of Fallujah seems to emerge again in the difficult context of the Iraqi crisis», states Daunia Pavone, ICS humanitarian coordinator in Iraq. «From last Tuesday, the city of Al-Qa'im is surrounded by the US troops and bombings are currently underway in the neighborhoods of Al-Jazeera, Al-Rumana, Al-Obaidi and Al-Karbala».

ICS aid workers are currently on the field, in order to follow the situation and to immediately respond to the needs of the population, which is fleeing from the area of the clashes.

ICS has verified the presence of approximately 5.000 displaced persons in the near towns of Rawa (1.800) and Aana (3.000): 3.000 more persons have fled in the last 3 days into the desert zones around to city of Qa' im.

For more information and interviews:
Daunia Pavone, ICS emergency programmes coordinator - Iraq, mobile +962 795349110, e-mail: d.pavone@icsitalia.org