Civilians Fleeing Fallujah Face Shortages of Water, Shelter

Iraqis fleeing the city of Fallujah are being confronted by fears for their safety and shortages of shelter and water. Doctors without Borders, which is working at three camps for displaced civilians near Fallujah, reported yesterday that they are running low on shelters and potable water and raised concerns about the potential for an outbreak ...

GettyImages-540072640
GettyImages-540072640

Iraqis fleeing the city of Fallujah are being confronted by fears for their safety and shortages of shelter and water. Doctors without Borders, which is working at three camps for displaced civilians near Fallujah, reported yesterday that they are running low on shelters and potable water and raised concerns about the potential for an outbreak of cholera. The situation in the city is worse, where fleeing civilians have said there are increasing food shortages. People at the camps are also worried about disappearances amid reports of the detention of large numbers of men and incidences of torture. The Iraqi government said this week that 6,000 men have been detained and that 4,000 of them will be released shortly. The Iraqi military said that they have captured more than 500 Islamic State fighters as they tried to leave the city with civilians.

Fighting continues in Fallujah, where U.S. Apache helicopter gunships entered fighting in support of Iraqi forces for the first time this week. The Iraqi military also recaptured the town of Nasr, south of Mosul, yesterday, after a three-month operation. A senior Iraqi military commander, Brigadier Ahmad Badr al-Luhaibi, was killed by an Islamic State sniper in the effort to retake the town.

Turkey Could Signal Policy Shift on Syria

Iraqis fleeing the city of Fallujah are being confronted by fears for their safety and shortages of shelter and water. Doctors without Borders, which is working at three camps for displaced civilians near Fallujah, reported yesterday that they are running low on shelters and potable water and raised concerns about the potential for an outbreak of cholera. The situation in the city is worse, where fleeing civilians have said there are increasing food shortages. People at the camps are also worried about disappearances amid reports of the detention of large numbers of men and incidences of torture. The Iraqi government said this week that 6,000 men have been detained and that 4,000 of them will be released shortly. The Iraqi military said that they have captured more than 500 Islamic State fighters as they tried to leave the city with civilians.

Fighting continues in Fallujah, where U.S. Apache helicopter gunships entered fighting in support of Iraqi forces for the first time this week. The Iraqi military also recaptured the town of Nasr, south of Mosul, yesterday, after a three-month operation. A senior Iraqi military commander, Brigadier Ahmad Badr al-Luhaibi, was killed by an Islamic State sniper in the effort to retake the town.

Turkey Could Signal Policy Shift on Syria

Turkey’s new prime minister, Binali Yildirim, is signaling a possible shift in his country’s Syria policy. After years of dedicated opposition to the Assad regime under Prime Minister Ahmet Davetoglu, who stepped down last month, a senior Justice and Development Party official told Reuters that the country could be softening its stance toward the dictator. The policy could include improved ties with Russia and support for a political transition that does not require Assad’s exit. Assad “does not support Kurdish autonomy. We may not like each other, but on that we’re backing the same policy,” the official said.

Headlines

  • Though Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in Washington, DC, this week, the White House has declined to confirm that he will be meeting with President Obama or White House staff in a possible snub of the prince, Foreign Policy reports.

 

  • The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution to allow the interdiction of ships believed to be smuggling weapons to or from Libya in order to better enforce an international arms embargo on the country.

 

  • Saudi officials, who threatened to withdraw from the United Nations after being blacklisted in a report on child rights violations, also demanded that the United Nations reveal its sources for the report, which U.N. officials have declined to do, Reuters reports.

 

  • Inflation and the strength of the dollar have led to the highest prices for staples in Egypt in seven years; the prices have put such a burden on consumers that the Egyptian government has opened mobile markets of subsidized food for Ramadan.

 

  • Boeing, the U.S. aviation giant, is reportedly close to signing a $17-billion deal with Iran that would include approximately 100 planes and a decade of maintenance; Boeing is still waiting on the U.S. Treasury Department to approve the agreement and issue a license for the deal.

 

  • U.N. Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who was due to submit a proposed three-step plan for guiding peace talks between the warring parties, has postponed the plan’s release as it undergoes further review by the parties.

Arguments and Analysis

Investigating the Orlando Attack” (The Soufan Group)

“Given the enormous consequences that stem from the claim of an Islamic State ‘inspired’ attack, the notion of inspired attacks must be examined more closely. What does it mean if an attack is inspired by the Islamic State? Would the attack have happened without the appeal for violence by the Islamic State? Was the claim of inspiration made at the last minute for purposes of notoriety? Or was the attack set into motion by the group’s propaganda, tipping a disturbed, angry person into a murderous terrorist? Was inspiration the driving factor of the attack, or was it an extension of an existing pathos? It is of paramount importance to determine connections and lines of communication between attackers and their professed affiliations. However, the uncomfortable reality is that attacks such as the one in Orlando become ‘Islamic State attacks’ simply because the attackers declare them as such. The validity of their assertions matters less than the consequences of their actions.”

 

From Maliki to Abadi: The Challenge of Being Iraq’s Prime Minister” (Harith Hasan Al-Qarawi, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University)

“The circle of blame that characterized Maliki’s terms has been repeated: The prime minister blames parties for focusing on their narrow interests and thereby placing hurdles in his way; the parties, in turn, criticize him for attempting to pursue a unilateral and exclusivist policy — or, alternatively, for being uncertain about what he wants. In the words of a senior Shia politician, “Abadi does not know exactly what he wants…in the morning we agree with him on something, just to hear that he changed his mind in the evening.’ Complicating things further for Abadi is that the organizing doctrine behind the Iraqi polity today is one based on communal representation: Politicians are largely seen as representatives of their communities rather than as constituting a broader national base. They are expected to remain loyal to their sub-national constituencies, which extends to adopting uncompromising and unrealistic positions with respect to relations with other communities. The prime minister is constrained both by the need to secure the support of his own community and by the inflexibility shown by leaders of other communities.”

-J. Dana Stuster

SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images

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