Fallujah: Lack of Food, Lack of Water in war zone
Note: I didn't go with the title of the article as the thread title because it seemed to indicate that the US was doing this as a punitive measure, which isn't reflected in the article.
US prevents aid distribution in Falluja
Saturday 13 November 2004, 22:04 Makka Time, 19:04 GMT
Wounded residents were unable to reach aid workers
US troops were preventing a Red Crescent convoy of emergency aid from reaching helpless residents inside Falluja on Saturday after allowing it as far as the main hospital, a spokeswoman said.
Hopes were raised that the military would make an exception to a no-entry rule when the trucks were allowed as far as the Falluja general hospital, which was seized ahead of a US-Iraqi assault to gain control of the city.
But wounded residents inside the war zone were unable to
enter the hospital, on the western outskirts, while US forces were forbidding the aid convoy from reaching them, Red Crescent spokeswoman Ferdus al-Abadi told AFP.
"They are in the general hospital, but until now the Americans
will not let them distribute medical supplies in the city," Abadi
said, about a team of some 50 volunteers and three doctors who had travelled from Baghdad to Falluja.
Many families have fled the war in Fallujah to nearby villiages
Doctor Jamal al-Karbuli, the Secretary-General of the Iraqi
Red Crescent "is negotiating with the Americans to let them
distribute the supplies to the people," she told AFP.
"Jamal is insisting, at least, to have permission to get the
injured people out of Fallujah and into the hospital."
Civilians hiding in the city, where US and Iraqi troops have clashed with the resistance since Monday, are dying of starvation and thirst and something must be done to help them, the spokeswoman said.
"They need us. It is our duty as a humanitarian agency to do our job for these people in these circumstances," she said.
The Iraqi government, for its part, said is was evacuating
wounded civilians out of Falluja and that the main hospital would soon be operational again.
A US military spokesman said Falluja was too risky for the aid workers.
"We have to take into consideration safety and security," he said.
Dying of starvation
An AFP correspondent in Falluja said he had seen a number of
families emerge from the devastation. One group among them
complained Friday of severe thirst and hunger. Another was on the edge of despair.
Aid groups say refugees are in dire need of water and foof supplies
The Red Crescent believes that only 150 families are still in the heart of Falluja, but it is also equally concerned about the plight of tens of thousands of people living in refugee camps and villages dotted outside.
"They are dying of starvation and a lack of water, especially
the children," said the Red Crescent spokeswoman.
"If there is no solution to this crisis it will expand to other cities and other parts of Iraq and there will be a great disaster here," she warned.
On Friday, the agency dispatched a convoy of four relief trucks and an ambulance to a tourist village in Habbaniya - where some 1500 refugees are camped - and the town of Amiriyat al-Falluja - with some 4000 families.
'Scores of families'
A local journalist in Falluja, Haza al-Afify, told Aljazeera that there were many civilan casualties.
"The humanitarian situation is miserable. The US forces have cut the electricity power supply. Water pumping operations have now stopped for good. Water pipes carry polluted water supply. There is severe shortages in food stuffs and food supplies," he said.
"There are scores of families burried under the rubble of destroyed homes. Others have bled to death. There is a stench from every street due to decaying bodies."
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.