ISIS uses 2,000 families in Iraq’s Fallujah as ‘human shields’

Civilians flee their homes to head to safer areas due to clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIS militants in the town of Hit in Anbar province, Iraq April 12, 2016. (Reuters)

ISIS in Iraq has trapped around 2,000 families in two villages south of a city in the western province of Anbar, and is using them as human shields, local media reported the head of a police department as saying on Saturday.

“The terrorist organization ISIS has trapped around 2,000 families, most of the people are women, children and elderly in Albu Hawa and Hasi in the northern al-Amiriya district south of Fallujah,” Lieutenant Colonel Arif al-Janabi, the head of the police district, told the local Anbar News outlet.

ISIS also arrested dozens of young men from the two villages, Janabi added.

“ISIS is using people of the two villages as human shields and not allowing them to leave,” Janabi added, describing “the security forces and tribal fighters” as being “ready to liberate these two villages and break the siege.”

The city of Fallujah was seized by ISIS in January 2014. With an estimated population of 90,000, it is the militant group’s stronghold in Sunni-dominated Anbar.

Last month, the Iraqi government approved aid to be delivered to people in Fallujah after a long siege.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48