december 2004


BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military has used poison gas and other non-conventional weapons against civilians in Fallujah, eyewitnesses report.. "Poisonous gases have been used in Fallujah," 35-year-old trader from Fallujah, Abu Hammad told IPS. "They used everything -- tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah has been bombed to the ground."
Hammad is from the Julan district of Fallujah where some of the heaviest fighting occurred. Other residents of that area report the use of illegal weapons.

"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," Abu Sabah, another Fallujah refugee from the Julan area told IPS. "Then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them."
He said pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns. Phosphorous weapons as well as napalm are known to cause such effects.
Macabre accounts of killing of civilians are emerging through the cordon U.S. forces are still maintaining around Fallujah.
Kassem Mohammed Ahmed who escaped from Fallujah a little over a week ago told IPS he witnessed many atrocities committed by U.S. soldiers in the city.

"I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks," he said. "This happened so many times."
Abdul Razaq Ismail who escaped from Fallujah two weeks back said soldiers had used tanks to pull bodies to the soccer stadium to be buried. "I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could bury them because of the American snipers," he said. "The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near Fallujah."
Abu Hammad said he saw people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to escape the siege. "The Americans shot them with rifles from the shore," he said. "Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.."
Hammad said he had seen elderly women carrying white flags shot by U.S. soldiers. "Even the wounded people were killed. The Americans made announcements for people to come to one mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed."

Another Fallujah resident Khalil (40) told IPS he saw civilians shot as they held up makeshift white flags. "They shot women and old men in the streets," he said. "Then they shot anyone who tried to get their bodies...Fallujah is suffering too much, it is almost gone now."
Spokesman for the Iraqi Red Crescent in Baghdad Abdel Hamid Salim told IPS that none of their relief teams had been allowed into Fallujah, and that the military had said it would be at least two more weeks before any refugees would be allowed back into the city.
"There is still heavy fighting in Fallujah," said Salim. "And the Americans won't let us in so we can help people."
In many camps around Fallujah and throughout Baghdad, refugees are living without enough food, clothing and shelter. Relief groups estimate there are at least 15,000 refugee families in temporary shelters outside Fallujah. (Agencies)


Here follow statements by Fallujah's citizens collated by Dhar Jamail
USA Arrest Doctors and staff in Hospital
Mehdi Abdullah:"Doctors from Fallujah are reporting there are patients in the hospital here who were forced out by the Americans," said Mehdi Abdulla, a 33 year-old ambulance driver at a hospital in Baghdad, "Some doctors there told me they had a major operation going, but the soldiers took the doctors away and left the patient to die." He looks at the ground, then away to the distance.

Puppet “Iraqi ministry of health” orders Baghdad hospitals not to admit wounded patients from al-Fallujah. Nov.25th 2004

The patriotic Iraqi website reported Thursday that the puppet so-called “Iraqi health ministry had issued instructions in the last two days to hospitals in Baghdad not to accept wounded persons from al-Fallujah for what it called “security reasons.”

Sources inside the puppet “health ministry” and in several Baghdad hospitals told that such instructions had been sent to all hospitals in the last two days. The sources reported that a number of Baghdad hospitals were complying with these instructions and refusing to admit wounded patients from al-Fallujah, thus putting their lives at risk.

An ambulance driver who drives seriously injured patients to Baghdad when the medical facilities in al-Fallujah feel they cannot handle the cases said that he had brought patients around to several hospitals in Baghdad but had been unable to find one that would agree to admit the patients. As a result one of them died.

Sources in the “health ministry” said that the notices not to accept al-Fallujah patients were issued under the category of “security notices” but the only conclusion that can be drawn from them is that Baghdad hospitals are being ordered to give up their humanitarian role and mission for the benefit of the political and party authorities.

Um Mohammed, Doctor:"How can I take a new desk when there are patients dying because we don't have medicine for them," she asked while holding her hands in the air, "They should build a lift so patients who can't walk can be taken to surgery, and instead we have these new desks!" Her eyes were piercing with fire, while yet another layer of frustration is folded into her work."And there are still a few Iraqis who think the Americans came to liberate them," she added while looking out the broken window. The glass lay about outside-shattered from a car bomb that had detonated in front of the hospital. "These people will change their minds about the liberators when they, too, have had a family member killed by them."

Abu Hammad: telling us what he experienced, barely breathes while doing so because he is so enraged. "The American warplanes came continuously through the night and bombed everywhere in Fallujah! It did not stop even for a moment! If the American forces did not find a target to bomb, they used sound bombs just to terrorize the people and children. The city stayed in fear; I cannot give a picture of how panicked everyone was." He is shaking with grief and anger. "In the mornings I found Fallujah empty, as if nobody lives in it. Even poisonous gases have been used in Fallujah-they used everything-tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah has been bombed to the ground. Nothing is left."........."Most of the innocent people there stayed in mosques to be closer to God for safety. Even the wounded people were killed. Old ladies with white flags were killed by the Americans! The Americans announced for people to come to a certain mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed!"................He continues on, "There are bodies the Americans threw in the river. I saw them do this! And anyone who stayed thought they would be killed by the Americans, so they tried to swim across the river. Even then the Americans shot them with rifles from the shore! Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot! Even people who couldn't swim tried to cross the river! They drowned rather than staying to be killed by the Americans."

Mohammad Ali:"I would like to ask the whole world-why is this? I tell the presidents of the Arab and Muslim countries to wake up! Wake up please! We are being killed, we are refugees from our houses, our children have nothing-not even shoes to wear! Wake up! Wake up! Stop being traitors! Be human beings and not the dummies of the Americans!"He is weeping even more when he adds, "I left Fallujah yesterday and I am handicapped."

Khalil is raging : His sadness is being covered with anger. "If we have a government-the government should solve the suffering of the people. Our government does not do this-instead they are always attacking us, our government is a dummy government. They are not here to help us...."Eid is over. Ramadan is over-and the kids are remaining without even a smile. They have nothing and nowhere to go. We used to take them to parks to amuse them, but now we don't even have a house for them."He said those who left Fallujah did not think they would be gone so long, so they brought only their summer clothes. Now it is quite cold at night, down to 10 degrees C at night and windy much of the time. Khalil adds, "We need more clothes. It's a disaster we are living in here at this camp. We are living like dogs and the kids do not have enough clothes."

I shall never forget how the people left behind in the city helped each other.  
I became very close to those I shared the house with.  
Each of us knew that if death came, it would probably come to all of us - at any instant, we could all be finished off by the same bomb.  
Falluja was not a poor city, compared to many others in Iraq. 
But many of its homes are now dust.

Hardly a single one among those still standing is unscarred by war.
  Wherever you look, there are bullet-holes, fire damage and massive holes missing from the walls.   Many people used to cultivate flowers in their gardens. The roses have wilted, the backyards are graveyards.

More than 50 US marines died and more than 400 were wounded in the assault.