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Wednesday, November 17

no need for humanitarian relief when they're all dead

From WaPo: Iraq's Red Crescent Society sent seven truckloads of food and medicine to the city, but U.S. forces stopped the convoy at the main hospital, the Reuters news agency reported. Marine commanders said there was no need for humanitarian relief inside the city because so few people remained.

"I don't know why the American leaders did not approach the Red Cross and ask us to deal with the families properly before the attacking began," said a Red Cross aid worker, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Suddenly they attacked and people were stuck with no help, no medicine, no food, no supplies," he said. "So those who could, ran for the desert while the rest were trapped in the city."

If the U.S. forces would call a temporary cease-fire "we could get our trucks in and get the civilians left in Fallujah who need medical care, we could get them out," he said.

Mosques have organised massive collections of food and relief supplies for Fallujah residents as they did last April when the city was under attack, but these supplies have not been allowed into the city either.

The Red Cross official said they had received several reports from refugees that the military had dropped cluster bombs in Fallujah, and used a phosphorous weapon that caused severe burns.

The U.S. military claims to have killed 1,200 "insurgents" in Fallujah. Abdel Khader Janabi, a resistance leader from the city has said that only about 100 among them were fighters.

"Both of them are lying," the Red Cross official said. "While they agree on the 1,200 number, they are both lying about the number of dead fighters." He added that "our estimate of 800 civilians is likely to be too low." -Dahr Jamail

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