First Published: 2004-04-08

 
Iraqis head to Fallujah with supplies
 

Thousands of Sunni, Shiites backed by cars unite in march to bring food, medical supplies to besieged Fallujah.

 

Middle East Online

Solidarity

BAGHDAD - Thousands of Sunni and Shiite Muslims backed by cars full of food and medical supplies headed on foot Thursday toward the town of Fallujah which has been besieged by US forces.

The protesters answered a call by Muslim groups for a peaceful march to carry supplies to residents of the Sunni town where dozens of Iraqis have been killed since US marines launched an offensive Sunday to wipe out insurgents.

"Our families in Fallujah, remember that our dead go to heaven and theirs to hell," read a banner held by the marchers who had gathered early Thursday at the Um al-Qora mosque in west Baghdad where people donated food, drinks and medicine.

"No Sunnis, no Shiites, yes for Islamic unity. We are Sunni and Shiite brothers and will never sell our country," they chanted.

The marchers carried Iraqi flags as well as portraits of Sunni Palestinian Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the head of the Hamas movement killed last month by Israel, and Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose forces were fighting the US-led coalition.

"Allahu Akbar," or "God is greatest" sounded from the Um al-Qora mosque as people made the donations.

Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Ghafur al-Samarai, the mosque imam and a member of the Committee of Religious Clerics, said that "Baghdad residents decided to send initially 90 cars with food and medicines to Fallujah families."

"The Iraqi Red Crescent got a permission from the coalition, following negotiations over one day and one night to bring these supplies into the city," he said.

"We want to express solidarity with our brothers who are being bombed by warplanes and tanks. People donated these things, and women even sold their jewelry," he said.

"It is a form of jihad (religious war) which can also come in the form of demonstrations, donations and fighting. The people who are occupied have the right to fight occupation, whatever the means they use," he said.

He called on the US army to stop the operation in the city.

"This only brings hatred and enmity. Americans killed 20 more people than those who are actually carrying arms. They killed the elderly praying at the mosques, as well as women and children. This is indiscriminate killing."

He condemned the mutilation of the bodies of four Americans slain in Fallujah last week in an incident that sparked US outrage, but said US troops "are doing the same by mutilating the residential neighborhoods."

 

Iran sees Syria talks as opportunity to gain influence

Arab Israelis strike in protest over house demolitions

Explosions in Gaza target Fatah member

UN expert tells Saudi to end ban on women driving

More than 20 firefighters feared dead in Tehran building collapse

Trump to retain envoy to anti-IS coalition

Desalination plant opens in Gaza to tackle water crisis

Syria’s Assad hopes rebels disarm after Astana talks

UN says 400,000 Syrian child refugees in Turkey not in school

Libya PM skips Davos to focus on electricity crisis

Greece, Cyprus insist peace deal must include Turkish withdrawal

Mistura to lead UN delegation at Astana Syria talks

Turkey slams French satire song about Istanbul attack

Saudi minister says kingdom to become ‘softer’ after reforms

Bahrain lifts ban on electronic Al-Wasat newspaper

Kuwait upholds sentence for three royals for insulting judges

Tunisia facing mounting calls against jail-for-joint law

Iran's oldest high-rise building on fire collapses

IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche

Bahrain police disperse Shiite protesters

Key Syria rebel group opts out of Astana peace talks

Moroccan Sufi ‘living master’ dies at 95

France says Iraqi jihadist among 2015 stadium bombers

Russia, Turkey stage first joint air strikes against IS in Syria

IS advances on terrified citizens of Syria’s Deir Ezzor

In path to greater executive power, Erdogan faces weak Turkey economy

Switzerland drops war crimes case against former Algerian defence minister

Patience wears thin in Iraq's Fallujah

Iraq forces 'liberate' eastern Mosul

New UN chief stresses importance of Syria peace talks

Istanbul nightclub attacker 'received orders from IS'

Turkish border officials refuse entry to NYT reporter

Fatah, Hamas agree to form unity government

Syria war forces elderly to take shelter in retirement homes

Snowden’s stay in Russia extended by two years

Palestinian home demolitions spark deadly violence

East Syria clashes continue between IS, regime forces

Syrian general, 8 soldiers killed in tunnel blast

Florida airport shooter ‘inspired’ by IS jiahdists

US-led coalition warplanes hit IS near Syria's Al-Bab

Iran opposes US joining Syria talks

Turkey snubs UN hearing on detained Rwanda genocide judge

Rouhani calls for end to Saudi ‘interference’ across region

Saudi says China rise source of global stability not conflict

Lengthy drought leaves Somalia with serious famine risk