Thousands of families flee violence in Anbar to Kurdish north

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By Shaymaa Adel

Azzaman, February 26, 2014

More than 6,000 families have fled the surge in violence in the Province of Anbar where Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), said Displacement and Migration Minister Daindar Douski said.

Douski said his ministry was providing financial assistance and other forms of aid. Each family, he said, was given an initial grant of 300,000 Iraqi dinars. A dollar is worth $1,250.

ISIS is alleged to be linked to al-Qaeda and its militants attacked the western Province of Anbar and spread their control over the strategic city of Falluja and parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi.

Tens of thousands of more families have fled the area, leaving behind their belongings.

“Some families arriving in our district are in deplorable conditions,” said the officer in charge of the district Khalidiya where scores of fleeing families have arrived recently.

Iraqi troops are engaged in heavy fighting in Anbar. Though assisted by tribesmen, they have failed to dislodge the militants.

ISIS has bases in both Iraq and Syria. In Iraq there are fears that the violent group is growing in strength and is trying to spread its influence in the central parts of the country including the northern city of Mosul.