Fighting continues in and around Fallujah today, as military forces continue their campaign against ISIS. Last week, several villages on the outskirts of Fallujah were liberated.
The fighting is intensifying as it moves closer to the city. Today, ISIS fighters launched a fierce counterattack just outside Fallujah.
Q: What’s the situation for families trying to escape?
Quite simply, it’s difficult and dangerous. Several hundred families managed to escape last week, mostly from newly liberated areas around Fallujah. An estimated 50,000 people remain trapped in the city itself.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR reports that civilians have been killed by ISIS while trying to escape. There are also unconfirmed reports of teenage boys being executed because they refused to fight for ISIS.
“Those who make the decision of trying to flee know that at every step they might find death. To reach the safe area is extremely dangerous.”
— Bruno Geddo, UNHCR
As you might expect, it is extremely difficult to get updates from those trapped inside Fallujah, but one man reached by phone told the AFP news agency that ISIS’ already harsh treatment of people “is getting worse every day.”
Q: What’s the latest on the emergency response?
Senior Iraqi government officials have asked us to prepare an initial aid delivery for families in one of the newly liberated towns. The food is being packaged and prepped right now—a month's supply of food for each family.
As part of our first delivery, an estimated 500 families—children, mothers, fathers—will receive critical, lifesaving aid, thanks to you.
As the battle pushes farther into Fallujah, thousands more families will be affected in the hardest-hit parts of the city. Their water and food supplies have already been dwindling for months. Their need is critical.
This is only the beginning of the battle for Fallujah—and it's only the beginning of our humanitarian response.
We are gearing up to provide aid for thousands more families in the days ahead. We'll continue to update you on the situation in Fallujah and on our aid efforts there.
Please continue to stand with the children of Fallujah. Click here to donate.