Displaced civilians who fled the Iraqi town of Fallujah arrive in Ramadi on February 8, 2016. ©AFP
has warned about deteriorating humanitarian situation in Fallujah, where thousands of Iraqis are trapped without food under the control of Daesh terrorists.
The UN World Food Program said in a report on Monday that the food situation for 60,000 civilians in Fallujah is worrying.
“As the siege continued in Fallujah for the third consecutive month, no sign of improvement was recorded in March; food prices remain extremely high, and stocks in shops and households are depleting,” said the report.
“In March, the price of wheat was six times more expensive than in December,” it added.
The report, which was conducted by a mobile phone survey last month, said markets and shops in the city have run out of food supplies, such as sugar, wheat, rice, vegetable oil and lentils.
“Aid has not reached Fallujah since the government recaptured nearby Ramadi in December 2015,” it added.
The Human Rights Watch said in a report on Thursday that Fallujah residents were starving, with what little food available being sold at exorbitant prices. The report said people were forced to eat food from grass.
Fallujah, which lies about 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, is considered to be one of the two main strongholds of Daesh. The other city is Mosul in northern Iraq
Mosul fell into the Daesh control early in the summer of 2014. An Iraqi army operation launched last month with US contentions of support to retake Mosul came to an immediate halt.
Iraqi soldiers hold a position during military operations to recapture the northern Nineveh province from Daesh on April 9, 2016. ©AFP
The army has said the terrorists had planted hundreds of roadside bombs and booby traps along main roads leading in and out of the city.
Volunteer Hashd al-Shaabi fighters said on Thursday that they will join the operation by the Iraqi army to liberate Mosul.
The force, formed after the rise of Daesh in Iraq in 2014, has already helped the army to liberate several Daesh-held areas.
The volunteer fighters have helped the army regain its confidence after initially suffering heavy losses amid quick advances by the Takfiri terrorists.
A coalition led by the US also claims to have been targeting Daesh.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was on the second day of an unannounced visit to Iraq on Tuesday.
Speaking in the Kurdish-populated Iraqi city of Arbil, Le Drian said Iraqi forces were working to encircle Mosul in preparation for the battle to retake it.
“We are in the process of surrounding Mosul to prepare for the battle, which will be tough,” Le Drian told journalists.
On Monday, he said that Mosul and Syria’s Raqa, another key Daesh-held city, “must fall” in 2016.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since Daesh attacked the territories in June 2014.
More than three million people have been forced to flee their homes in Iraq since January 2014, according to the United Nations