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Iraqi Red Crescent Fails To Deliver Aid To Al-Fallujah

15 November 2004 -- A convoy of aid from Iraq's Red Crescent Society has withdrawn from the main hospital on the outskirts of Al-Fallujah after U.S. forces withheld permission for it to deliver supplies to residents inside the city.

Red Crescent spokeswoman Ferdus al-Ibadi said that the trucks with food and medical supplies will travel instead to villages around Al-Fallujah where tens of thousands of civilians from the city are camping to escape the weeklong U.S. assault that began on 8 November.

The U.S.-led forces in Al-Fallujah allowed the convoy to enter the general hospital grounds on the western edge of the city on 13 November, but -- citing safety reasons -- refused it permission to go further.

No aid has reached civilians in Al-Fallujah since the fighting began. Aid agencies describe the situation as a humanitarian disaster, but U.S. military officials and Iraqi government officials disagree.


[For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]