Sunday, June 11, 2006
Iraqi civilians caught between a rock and a hard place.
The good citizens in Ramadi know that their innocence is no shield to modern weaponry or tactics. Unfortunately not everyone is able to get out of town before the shit hits the fan. The LA Times today reports on the situation for these people caught in this vise.
Fears of an imminent offensive by the U.S. troops massed around the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi intensified Saturday, with residents pouring out of the city to escape what they describe as a mounting humanitarian crisis.But things are getting better in Iraq because we got Zarqawi this week, don't you know.
The image pieced together from interviews with tribal leaders and fleeing families in recent weeks is one of a desperate population of 400,000 people trapped in the crossfire between insurgents and U.S. forces. Food and medical supplies are running low, prices for gas have soared because of shortages and municipal services have ground to a stop.
U.S. and Iraqi forces had cordoned off the city by Saturday, residents and Iraqi officials said. Airstrikes on several residential areas picked up, and troops took to the streets with loudspeakers to warn civilians of a fierce impending attack, Ramadi police Capt. Tahseen Dulaimi said.
U.S. military officials refused to confirm or deny reports that a Ramadi offensive was underway.
Thousands of families remain trapped in the city, those who have fled say. Many can't afford to leave or lack transportation, whereas other families have decided to wait for their children to finish final examinations at school before escaping.
"The situation is catastrophic. No services, no electricity, no water," said Sheik Fassal Gaood, the former governor of Al Anbar province, whose capital is Ramadi.
"People in Ramadi are caught between two plagues: the vicious, armed insurgents and the American and Iraqi troops."
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