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In Fallujah, 16 Dead In IS Bombardment; IS Claims To Be Manufacturing Rockets

Iraqi Major General Kadhem Mohammed al-Fahdawi (center), the new Anbar police chief, speaks to pro-government fighters in Amriyat Al-Fallujah, 30 kilometers south of Fallujah, on October 23.

Sixteen civilians, most of them women and children, were killed and 24 wounded in Fallujah on November 6 following renewed bombardment by Islamic State (IS) militants of the city's residential districts, a source at the city's general hospital told an RFE/RL correspondent.

IS militants have also been carrying out raids to the south of the city.

IS militants have laid siege to Amiriyah Al-Fallujah, some 30 kilometers southeast of Fallujah and populated by members of the Dulaim tribe. The town connects Anbar province with the city of Jurf Al-Sakhar in Babil, which was recently captured from IS militants by Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militias. IS released photos of its assault on Amiriyah Al-Fallujah on October 30.

On November 7, the head of the pro-government Awakening Council (Sahwat) in Iraq said that IS militants were mobilizing from Fallujah toward Amiriyah Al-Fallujah. IS militants had started shelling the outskirts of the town, according to Wissam al-Hardan.

Hardan said that the security forces were prepared to combat IS militants.

The reports come after IS social-media accounts published a video with footage they claim show an IS-run rocket factory in "Wilayat Al-Fallujah" ("Fallujah Province"), the name IS has given to its "administrative district" around Fallujah. The factory is producing what IS claimed are "Fateh" rockets, according to the video, which was released on November 4. It is not possible to independently verify that the video is authentic or where it was shot.

The footage shows masked militants producing what appears to be a small rocket. An IS flag hangs on a wall in the background. A masked militant explains how the rockets are made and that they are of the "Fateh" type.

IS gunmen seized Fallujah in Iraq's Anbar province in January.

Since then, the city has been under strict control, with IS militants requiring women to wear the niqab (facial veil) and leave their homes only if accompanied by a male relative. IS has also banned cigarettes, Western-style haircuts, and T-shirts with English writing or images of women.

As part of efforts to combat IS militants in Anbar, on November 6 the Anbar Council announced that 40 tribes from throughout the province had formed a coalition that will operate with security forces, police, and the Anbar Operations Command. The tribesmen will be armed in order to attempt to push back IS from areas they have taken over.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world.


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