Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Eight thousand civilians are being confined by Islamic State militants inside Anbar’s western town of Annah, its mayor said Sunday.
Saad Awwad said those are mostly children and women who are denied exit from their regions. “Intelligence information received by security forces reveal that the number of Daesh (IS) militants vin Annah, west of Anbar, does not exceed 250, especially as most of its leaderships and emirs had fled to Syria over the past months,” he said in statements.
“Joint forces are preparing to clear the western regions, including Annah, Rawa and Qaem, as well as the borderline between Iraq and Syria, within the next few days so as to eliminate Daesh from the whole of Anbar and free civilians stranded at those regions,” said Awwad, who added that the stranded families experience difficult conditions due to food, medicine and petroleum shortages.
Rights organizations and news reports have accused IS militants of deliberately shooting at, or executing, civilians who attempt to flee regions held by the extremist group.
Iraqi and US-led fighter jets have regularly bombed IS locations west of Anbar since major operations launched by the government and the US international coalition against the group last year.