Doctors for Iraq are reporting that a new offensive has been launched on the city of Al Qaim in Western Iraq. The city is under curfew and eyewitnesses have reported heavy bombing. US and Iraqi forces have attacked Al Qaim several times in the past few months, and the health and humanitarian situation inside the city and surrounding areas is desperate.
Doctors for Iraq write:
"US/IRAQI MILITARY LAUNCHES NEW ATTACK ON THE CITY OF Al QAIM, WESTERN
Reports are coming in of a new military attack launched in the last few hours in the western city of Al Qaim, western Iraq. Al Qaim, situated between the Syrian and Iraqi border has an estimated population of 150,000 people including the surrounding villages and towns.
US/ Iraqi forces have attacked Al Qaim several times in the past few months; the health and humanitarian situation inside the city and surrounding areas is desperate. The main hospital in the area is also under siege and all entrances to the city have been closed off.
From early this morning military aircraft have been bombing the area and firing missiles on the city.
Eyewitness say buildings were bombed heavily in the city with people inside- it is unclear who was inside the building and how many people are buried under the rubble of the destroyed buildings.
One eyewitness reports that a military missile shell has killed a man in his neighbourhood. The dead man's family tried to carry him to hospital but couldn't because of shooting from the US/ Iraqi military. The dead man's family have placed his body in the family refrigerator until they can access a hospital.
The city is under curfew and there are reports of many injured people. Civilians are trapped in their homes and medical teams cannot access the city.
Reports are coming in of civilians trying to flee the siege areas, but find themselves trapped inside as the military attack continues.
Fighting has broken out between the military forces and armed groups in the areas.
Doctors for Iraq is calling on the immediate end of violence in the area so that doctors and medical staff can treat the injured and begin urgent relief in the city and surrounding areas.
Iraq is calling for international human rights organisations to carry out an
immediate investigation into the military attacks and killing of civilians."