Maliki: Iraqi Army Not to Attack Fallujah As Tribes Fight al-Qaeda

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Thursday, 09 January 2014


malikiIraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Wednesday that his troops will not attack the volatile city of Fallujah as long as the tribes are fighting al-Qaeda militants, vowing that the unrest in Anbar province will not delay the country's national elections.


"We don't want this city (Fallujah) to suffer any more, because it had enough wars and destruction," he said referring to the two major battles between the residents of the city and the U.S. troops in 2004, which caused severe destruction and mass killings to its people.


Maliki also said that al-Qaeda militants will not stop the political process in Iraq and pledged to hold the nationwide elections on its scheduled date of April 30.


"One of their (al-Qaeda) goals is to delay the elections which are close, and I say to everyone we don't want to delay the election even for a single day, and the government is ready to provide all the needs of the elections. We want it (elections) to occur because it is a significant stage in the political process," Maliki added.


In the meantime, sporadic clashes in Iraq's western province of Anbar entered the tenth day after tensions flared in the province when Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi.
Near the provincial capital Ramadi, soldiers backed by helicopters battled gunmen in the Khaldiyah area, a police captain said.
Defense ministry spokesman Staff Lieutenant General Mohammed al-Askari said Tuesday that soldiers deployed near Fallujah would hold off on assaulting the city for now for fear of civilian casualties.
Both Ramadi and Fallujah were insurgent strongholds in the years after 2003, and Fallujah was the target of two major assaults in which US forces saw some of their heaviest fighting since the Vietnam War.
Fighting erupted near Ramadi on December 30, when security forces cleared a year-old protest camp. The violence spread to Fallujah, and militants moved in and seized the city and parts of Ramadi after security forces withdrew.

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"We will not use force as long as the tribes announce their willingness to confront al-Qaeda and eject them from Fallujah," Maliki said at his televised weekly speech.


"We don't want this city (Fallujah) to suffer any more, because it had enough wars and destruction," he said referring to the two major battles between the residents of the city and the U.S. troops in 2004, which caused severe destruction and mass killings to its people.


Maliki also said that al-Qaeda militants will not stop the political process in Iraq and pledged to hold the nationwide elections on its scheduled date of April 30.


"One of their (al-Qaeda) goals is to delay the elections which are close, and I say to everyone we don't want to delay the election even for a single day, and the government is ready to provide all the needs of the elections. We want it (elections) to occur because it is a significant stage in the political process," Maliki added.


In the meantime, sporadic clashes in Iraq's western province of Anbar entered the tenth day after tensions flared in the province when Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi.
Near the provincial capital Ramadi, soldiers backed by helicopters battled gunmen in the Khaldiyah area, a police captain said.
Defense ministry spokesman Staff Lieutenant General Mohammed al-Askari said Tuesday that soldiers deployed near Fallujah would hold off on assaulting the city for now for fear of civilian casualties.
Both Ramadi and Fallujah were insurgent strongholds in the years after 2003, and Fallujah was the target of two major assaults in which US forces saw some of their heaviest fighting since the Vietnam War.
Fighting erupted near Ramadi on December 30, when security forces cleared a year-old protest camp. The violence spread to Fallujah, and militants moved in and seized the city and parts of Ramadi after security forces withdrew.

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