Iraqi Prime Minister "Nuri al-Maliki" vowed to eradicate al-Qaeda in Iraq and predicted victory as his army prepared to launch a major assault against the Islamist militants who have taken over parts of the city of Fallujah.
Fighters from the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), overran police stations in Fallujah and another city in Iraq’s western Anbar province last week.
In a televised address Wednesday, Maliki also thanked the international community for its support in the fight against al-Qaeda and urged the group’s members and supporters to surrender, promising clemency.
The prime minister spoke for the second time this week with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the White House said in a statement. Biden urged Maliki to keep working with local leaders and welcomed a decision to compensate tribal militiamen who may be wounded or killed in action against ISIL.
U.N envoy to Iraq "Nikolay Mladenov" said in a statement that the United Nations described the humanitarian situation in Anbar as critical: "the situation in Fallujah is particularly concerning, as existing stocks of food, water and life-saving medicines begin to run out".
The Iraqi Red Crescent said it had provided humanitarian assistance to more than 8,000 families across Anbar but added that upward of 13,000 had fled and were living with relatives, or in schools or other public buildings.