From Azzaman (Iraqi, secular, anti-Saddam paper):
U.S. troops bomb Tel Affar despite parliament speaker’s warning
Excerpts: U.S. troops have been bombing the city of Tel Affar in the past four days despite warnings from parliamentary speaker Hajim al-Hassani. For months, the troops have been striving to control the city and the adjacent region close to the Syrian border but to no avail. Fierce fighting is reported between U.S. troops and the insurgents who have turned the northern city west of Mosul into a major stronghold…

Thousands of families are reported to have fled the city. In interviews with Azzaman’s correspondent in Tel Affar, the residents described the U.S. shelling of their city “as fires of hell” … The shelling has so far killed several people and wounded many others. Those staying behind suffer from lack of water, food and health services.

Hassani, the speaker, had warned last month that the use of military force to solve the crisis in Tel Affar would further destabilize rather than pacify an already restive region. Azzaman’s correspondent, whose identity we withhold for security reasons, reported residents as saying that life has come to a standstill in the city. And those who opted to flee are in even worse condition, he added. “The people are too scared to go out and recover corpses of dead relatives or tend the wounded. U.S. troops have ringed the city and now prevent people from either leaving or entering the city,” he said.

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