The attack on Fallujah, or Operation Al Fajr as it has been officially dubbed, is a failure in everyway imaginable:
Everyone saw it coming, only the U.S. forces did not: humanitarian disaster in Fallujah, and stronger resistance against U.S. and allied occupying forces all around Iraq.
The real face of the ‘success’ of the U.S. military assault in Fallujah is now beginning to present itself. Thousands of families remain trapped inside Fallujah with no food, clean water or medical assistance.
No one can say how many of the 1,200 ‘rebels’ U.S. forces claim to have killed inside Fallujah are civilians, or whether the death toll is higher.
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society, which is supported by the Red Cross and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called the situation in Fallujah a ”big disaster”.
”The Americans didn’t care about us,” said a young refugee who gave his name only as Ahmed. He arrived in Baghdad with most of his family three days back. ”All the medical people left the city and the only people in the city are Fallujans or from Ramadi or other cities who came to try to help us.”
People in Fallujah had been left helpless, he said. ”Anyone who left their house would either be shot by American snipers or recruited by the Mujahideen,” he said. ”So we stayed inside most of the time and prayed. The more the bombs exploded the more we prayed and cried.”
Ahmed says he did not expect to survive. ”Every night we said goodbye to one another because we expected to die,” he said. ”You could see areas where all the houses were flattened, there was just nothing left. We could get water at times, but there was no electricity ever.”
U.S. forces had bombed families in their homes, he said. ”Even those of us who do not fight, we are suffering so much because of the U.S. bombs and tanks. Can’t they see this is turning so many people against them?”
A freelance journalist in [Mosul] told al-Jazeera on telephone from the city: ”The situation is very bad, there is no security, only armed resistance groups on the streets, and it seems there is no government in Mosul.” The U.S. military says it has taken back control of Mosul police stations and other areas. Iraqi rebels are now also in control of large areas of Ramadi, Samarra, Haditha, Baquba, Hiyt, Qaim, Latifiyah,Taji and Khaldiyah. Fighting has been reported also in the Shia holy city Kerbala.
The uprising has spread across the capital as well. The districts al-Dora, al-Amiriyah, Abu Ghraib, al-Adhamiya and Khan Dhari are now largely controlled by resistance fighters.
U.S. military vehicles have been damaged and destroyed near the city Hiyt. Fighting has spread to the normally peaceful town Hilla, just south of Baghdad.
”The security situation there has gone from bad to worse,” Ali Abdulla, a 35-year-old carpenter from Hilla said. ”You can hear the fighting all around the city now, and the resistance is fighting against the Polish very fiercely.”
Here’s one doctor’s eye-witness account:
Dr. Ahmed Ghanim’s nightmarish week began with a phone call in the operating room of a triage center in downtown Fallujah.
On the line was the manager of the city’s General Hospital. Iraqi national guardsmen and U.S. Marines, the manager said, had entered the hospital, handcuffed the doctors and were forcing the patients out to the parking lot.
The guardsmen “stole the mobile phones, the hospital safe where the money is kept and damaged the ambulances and cars,” said Ghanim, an orthopedic surgeon who works at the hospital. “The Americans were more sympathetic with the hospital staff and . . . untied the doctors and allowed them to go outside with the patients.”
“We were kicked out by the (Iraqi National Guard); even the Americans weren’t as harsh as them,” said Farhan Khalaf, 58, who had been at Fallujah General Hospital when it was seized.
“They were roughing up patients and tying up the doctors, hitting them in some instances,”he added. “They stole whatever valuables they could get their hands on, including money and cell phones. This is unacceptable. How could they do this against their own people?”
Electricity to the city was cut off. There was no water, no food, no fluids for the patients, Ghanim said. But the patients just kept coming.
“We were treating everyone. There were women, children, mujahids. I don’t ask someone if they are a fighter before I treat them. I just take care of them,” he said.
Late Tuesday, a bomb struck one side of the triage center. Ghanim ran out of the building.
A second bomb hit, crashing through the roof and destroying most of the facility. Ghanim believes it killed at least two or three of the young resident doctors working there and most of the patients.
“At that moment, I wished to die,” he said. “It was a catastrophe.”
“I saw the injured people on the street, covered in blood, staggering, screaming, shouting, ‘Help me! Help me!’ but we could not get out and help them because we would be killed.”
At one point, he looked out and saw a cousin in the street; he had been wounded. “I could not do anything for him, I could not move,” Ghanim said. “He died. There was no mercy.”
“I think if the Americans let us treat the injured, even in the streets,” he said, “we could have saved hundreds.”