World Bulletin/News Desk
The Iraqi government on Tuesday denied the use of barrel bombs by the Iraqi army in its ongoing military operation in the flashpoint city of Fallujah, where government forces are fighting rebels who Baghdad claims are linked to Al-Qaeda.
"Our forces refuse the use of unguided bombs, and there is no need to use such bombs." Ali al-Moussawi, top media adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, said in a statement.
On Sunday, Sunni MP Leqaa Wardi claimed that government forces are using barrel bombs in shelling Fallujah. "The military operation in Fallujah has caused severe losses among civilians and army forces alike," she told Anadolu Agency.
Sheikh Mohamed al-Bagari, a spokesman for anti-government Sunni tribes in Fallujah, also said that thousands of residents have fled the violence-wracked city following barrel bomb shelling on their homes in several districts.
The use of explosive-laden barrels, which are much cheaper than missiles but inflict similar levels of destruction, have been widely reported in Syria, where regime forces are said to have used them against opposition-held areas.
According to Syrian opposition groups, the barrel bombs – usually filled with TNT, oil and metal shrapnel – have killed hundreds of people, especially in the countryside outside Damascus and Aleppo.
Since last December, the Iraqi army has waged a major offensive in the Sunni-majority Anbar province with the stated aim of flushing militants – who Baghdad claims are linked to Al-Qaeda – out of the key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.
Many local Sunni tribes opposed to Iraq's Shiite-dominated government, meanwhile, continue to voice anger over the operation's mounting civilian death toll.
Since the offensive began, hundreds have been killed and injured in Fallujah and Ramadi, according to government officials.
President-elect promises in ‘five minutes’ he can prevent US companies for going overseas
Renzi tenders his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella
'That was not on my intelligence radar screen,' Obama tells CNN
Francois Hollande criticizes Russia’s systematic vetoes at UN Security Council regarding Syrian crisis
Amid legal fight, senior UK minister tells parliament exit strategy will not be revealed before Article 50 is triggered
'It's a great honor. It means a lot,' Trump says shortly after announcement
The suggestion was made in clear jest on the Antonov company's Twitter account.
The 28-nation European Union -- with 22 members also belonging to NATO -- imposed economic sanctions on Russia after a Malaysian airliner was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in July 2014.
Traffickers work as a network with collaborators in other countries to smuggle ivory, says South Sudan wildlife official
May has agreed to provide further details on her negotiating strategy before triggering the Article 50 exit process as long as MPs back her timetable and the result of the June referendum to leave the European Union.
President John Dramani Mahama seeks 2nd term in tight contest
Over 80 organizations linked to the terror group worldwide have been shut down or transferred to Turkish government
"We must... continue to confront state actors whose influence fuels instability in the region," May told Gulf leaders at the summit.
Ash Carter, Japanese counterpart reaffirm strength of bilateral alliance ahead of President-elect Trump's inauguration
Two high-ranking Ku Klux Klan leaders were arrested for stabbing a fellow KKK member before a victory parade for Donald Trump.
Clashes between army, insurgent group led to 31 deaths in central Congo this past weekend