The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says members of the Takfiri Daesh militant group have laid siege to a town in Iraq’s western province…
of Anbar, as army soldiers, backed by allied fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, are engaged in a multi-pronged operation to retake the last remaining militant bastions in the country.
The UN agency, in a statement released on Wednesday, announced that the Takfiris have taken about 2,500 families, equivalent to 10,000 individuals, hostage in Rawah, located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad, to block the progress of Iraqi forces.
The OHCHR also appealed to the Iraqi government and security forces involved in the Rawah liberation operation to intensify humanitarian efforts and open safe exit routes for civilians to frustrate terrorist schemes aimed at using ordinary people as human shields.
Late last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally ordered the launch of operations to purge the towns of Rawah and Qa’im from Daesh terrorists.