World Bulletin / News Desk
American Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki Wednesday regarding recent developments in Iraq.
“The Vice President encouraged the Prime Minister to continue the Iraqi government’s outreach to local, tribal, and national leaders and welcomed the Council of Ministers’ decision to extend state benefits to tribal forces killed or injured in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” according to a readout of the call provided by the White House.
The American Vice-President also “welcomed” Maliki’s commitment to hold upcoming elections on schedule, and Maliki's effort to ensure that humanitarian aid is reaching those in need.
Iraqi forces have clashed with fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in recent days in the western province of al Anbar. Fighting has been particularly fierce in Fallujah and Ramadi.
Maliki updated Biden on the conflict with the ISIL as well as “a series of political initiatives that are underway at the local and national level,” said the statement.
UN seeks safe entry of humanitarian aid to Anbar civilians
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Wednesday said it is seeking to create a safe corridor for the entry of humanitarian assistance and emergency aid to civilians in Iraq's western Anbar province.
In a statement, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said around 5,000 people have fled the ongoing fighting in Anbar to neighboring provinces, describing the humanitarian situation in the province as "critical".
He warned that the situation could become worse the more military operations continue in the province.
Mladenov said UNAMI works closely with the Iraqi government and humanitarian assistance partners to ensure the safe arrival of humanitarian aid to families in Anbar and residents who had escaped the violence there.
He added that UN agencies work hard to meet the demands of the residents in the province and prepare the necessary medical needs, food and non-food stuffs.
An estimated 12,000 families are believed to have been displaced in clashes in Anbar, including 13,000 people who had fled to the northern Iraq region.
Clashes erupted in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province last week after troops dispersed a months-old sit-in in provincial capital Ramadi staged by tribesmen opposed to the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The sit-in dispersal came two days after Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani, a prominent anti-Maliki protest organizer, was arrested by Iraqi forces in a raid on his Ramadi home. Six people were killed in the raid, including al-Alwani's brother.
6 army soldiers killed in Iraq attack
Six soldiers were killed and four others injured Wednesday in an attack on an army headquarters in northern Iraq.
Unidentified assailants attacked the headquarters with mortar shells and firearms in al-Azim district in the Diyala province, a security source said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2014, 14:22