More than 13,000 Iraqi families flee Fallujah after gunmen takeover
January 8, 2014
More than 13,000 families have fled Fallujah in the past few days amid clashes and shelling after the city fell to al-Qaeda-linked militants, the Iraqi Red Crescent said on Wednesday.
Masked gunmen remained in control of Iraq’s Fallujah Wednesday even as traffic police returned to the city’s streets after a jihadi group urged to keep fighting the government.
Fallujah and parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi farther west have been outside government hands for days – the first time militants have exercised such open control in major cities since the height of the insurgency that followed the 2003 US-led invasion.
Red Crescent official Mohammed al-Khuzaie said in a statement that the organization had provided humanitarian assistance to more than 8,000 families in the past three days across the Anbar province.
“Most of them are now living in schools, public buildings or with relatives,” Khuzaie said.
Earlier on Wednesday, two areas of Fallujah saw brief clashes and shelling, witnesses said, but it was not immediately clear who was involved in the fighting.
The traffic police, whose sole responsibility is directing vehicles and controlling intersections, were back on the streets in several parts of central Fallujah, an AFP journalist reported.
They were apparently back on duty with the blessing of the gunmen, whose allegiance was not immediately clear.
The gunmen were deployed in areas around the edge of the city, at the entrances of neighborhoods, and on bridges – including one from which the bodies of American contractors were infamously hung in 2004, prompting the first of two US assaults on Fallujah that year.
December 6, 2013 – Pentagon approves $1.1 billion Raytheon missile sale to Saudi Arabia: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/us-raytheon-saudi-missiles-idUSBRE9B50SF20131206
December 12, 2013: ‘No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles’:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/12/why_is_saudi_arabia_buying_15000_us_anti_tank_missiles_for_a_land_war_it_will_ne#sthash.otwdA4hc.dpbs
December 17, 2013 – Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone “Saudi Arabia has global responsibilities and we will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/opinion/saudi-arabia-will-go-it-alone.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0
In 2010, the US made the largest arms sale in its history, selling $60 billion’s worth of jets and attack helicopters to the Arab kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major exporter of oil to the US, though its highly unlikely OPEC would support a slow down or boycott over the kingdom’s political gripes with the US. Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials…