New U.S. Offensives in Iraq

June 27, 2006

Since June 10, thousands of U.S. forces have cordoned off the city of Ramadi in Iraq's Anbar province, setting-up hundreds of checkpoints, preventing anyone from entering or leaving the area. Numerous airstrikes have been launched, killing scores of residents. U.S. troops are carrying out house-to-house searches, while marching through the streets with loudspeakers warning the residents to stay indoors. Tens of thousands of residents are attempting to flee the city of 400,000 people.

Based on interviews with Iraqi residents, food and medicine supplies are running low and there are huge shortages of other supplies and services. "The situation is catastrophic. No services, no electricity, no water," said Sheik Fassal Gaood, former governor of Al Anbar province. Thousands of families remain trapped in the city.

"It is becoming hell up there," said Mohammed Fahdawi, a 42-year-old contractor who fled, with his 4 children, to Baghdad two weeks ago. "It is unbelievable: The Americans seem to have brought all of their troops to Ramadi."

Despite this massive force, U.S. troops continue to face daily street battles launched by resistance fighters.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, U.S. forces launched a new military offensive on June 14 that is being described by military officials as "the biggest operation since the 2003 invasion."

A night-time curfew has been imposed on all six million residents as 75,000 troops deployed in the city. Hundreds of checkpoints are set-up and day-time vehicle traffic is banned. A general of the U. S.-puppet army announced: "Anybody on the street, in his car or in his shop caught with a weapon, any kind of weapon, will be considered a terrorist and will be treated as a terrorist. He will be killed or captured."

The offensive was launched one day after Bush made a secret visit to the occupied capital. Thousands of Baghdad residents took to the streets in protest. Demonstrators carried banners reading "Iraq is for Iraqis" and "No to the occupation." Leaders demanded that U.S. troops leave the country immediately.

Fierce resistance continues throughout the city.