The situation in the Iraqi city of Fallujah has become dire, as coalition forces attempt to retake the city from ISIS. According to some truly shocking reports from the area, more than 80,000 residents have been forced to flee.
For nearly a month, forces have attempted to drive ISIS out of the city, but according to Washington Post reporter Loveday Morris, the Baghdad bureau chief, the battle is still raging despite early reports of an Iraqi victory over the terrorist group.
Morris is posting a series of Tweets from Iraq, outlining the increasingly deteriorating conditions as tens of thousands are fleeing the violence into makeshift camps in the desert. But, as her reporting notes, people are in desperate need of water and basic resources.
Her most recent report is devastating: Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with disabilities are particularly vulnerable, with some collapsing from exhaustion, relief workers say.
Activist Jeremy Courtney, whose organization Preemptive Love works to help the people of Iraq with medical and humanitarian needs, has posted an urgent message to Facebook this morning, explaining that thousands are in need of urgent assistance.
I’m telling anyone who will listen: #Fallujah is HELL ON EARTH today. 86,000 women & children—elderly & crippled—on the run from #ISIS, most arriving in last few days. It’s 122°F and water is running out.
Whoever you are, whatever you believe, believe this: we are no better than how we treat the poor, the sick, the elderly, the children… the “they’re-not-like-us” people.
Some say Fallujans are our enemies—that they are ISIS or sided with ISIS and got what they had coming to them.
Fine, then: #LoveAnyway #LoveYourEnemies
The next time Christians or Yezidis or gays are getting slaughtered, don’t wonder “how did we get here”, because at least *one* step on the road is happening right now, today. Are we going to leave an entire population violently starved of food and water to die in the desert and *not* expect it to have massive sociopolitical ramifications in their psyche and culture and practice of politics and religion?
This is where history is made. This is where we get more of the same or we change the future. These are the missed opportunities that future pundits will bemoan. It’s today. It’s right now.
We are here. Are you with us?
Courtney’s team has been working on the ground in Iraq for years, and has been delivering food and assistance to the people of Fallujah. You can learn how you can help by going here.