Thousands fleeing Fallujah, crossing the Euphrates river
Thousands of civilians from Fallujah tried to flee the battles around the city by crossing the Euphrates river flowing through the city. Women, children and the elderly are improvising vessels or trying to swim across the river. Those who succeed reach the Anbar area in Iraq that is under ISIS control. Those who flee prefer to live under ISIS rule rather than serve as human shields in Fallujah.
DEBKAfile military sources say that the Iraqi and Pro-Iranian Shiite forces are not advancing, and that they are unable to overcome the ISIS militants and break through their defenses. Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister, who visited the fighting forces, admitted that there is no progress in the attack, and that taking over the city might take longer than planned.
Meanwhile, various sources are reporting heavy losses among the attackers. Shiite cemeteries report around 70 dead arriving daily for burial. The hospitals in Bagdad are full to capacity with injured soldiers coming from the Fallujah battles.