Falluja hospital running out of staff and supplies

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By Nourideen Hameed

Azzaman, May 23, 2014

The only hospital in the town of Falluja is running out of doctors and nurses as well as medical supplies, said Ahmad al-Shami.

Shami, who has been handling the press since the town was occupied by members of the Iraq-based Jihadist group ISIS, said only three doctors and six nurses have stayed put while the rest have fled.

Shami said the hospital, catering for more than 350,000 people, was also running out of medical supplies as it has become part of a buffer zone separating government forces from ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

“The shelling of the hospital by the militants is bound to lead to human tragedy as it has forced most of the staff to flee,” he said.

Shami said not only the hospital but the whole town was target of indiscriminate shelling and yesterday three bodies of civilians who were killed by a mortar attack were brought to the morgue.

The government has failed to deliver supplies to the hospital due to fierce fighting in the city.

Tens of thousands of Falluja inhabitants are reported to have fled but many still remain, either fearing to leave their houses or cannot afford to move to safer areas due to their abject poverty.

Government troops and allied armed tribesmen are said to have encircled the town and launched several attacks to retake it.

But ISIS militants entrenched in the city are reported to be fighting tenaciously, using residential areas as strongholds.