Displaced Iraqis stranded near the capital

Iraqi officials shut Bzebiz bridge leaving dozens of families stranded on Anbar side without any aid

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Bzebiz bridge, a crossing that connects Anbar with Baghdad, has been shut down by Iraqi authorities due to the continuous clashes between security forces and armed militants belonging to ISIS.

The bridge was closed on Wednesday, leaving dozens of families stranded on the Anbar side without any basic means of survival and leading to immediate demands from provincial officials to reopen the bridge, aid agencies said.

Families were forced to take a longer route through the isolated town of Habbaniya= which lies about 105 kilometres west of the capital - and less help was available to those displaced, the head of Anbar's provincial council Sabah Kerhout told al-Jazeera.

Iraqi forces tightly control the crossing and have denied the requests of provincial officials to reopen the bridge due to security reasons, Kerhout added.

Fearing infiltration by ISIS militants, Iraqi authorities had previously placed restrictions on displaced families trying to seek refuge in Baghdad.

Since Iraqi forces have begun to regain control of parts of the town of Anbar, the bridge was closed for fear that militants belonging to ISIS could blend in the crowds of refugees and infiltrate the city.

On Friday, Iraqi forces gained control of Saqlawiya district north of Fallujah while ISIS militants continue to launch attacks on Haditha, in western Anbar.  

After ISIS militants’ capture of Anbar’s capital Ramadi in May, the insurgents still continue to seize territory from the Iraqi forces.  

TRTWorld and agencies