Locals in the Iraqi city of Haditha, in the Anbar Province, say it doesn’t feel like living in Iraq anymore. For months, ISIS has been gaining territory around them and at this point, while their walled city never fell, the whole surrounding area is ISIS territory.
It may not last much longer, however, as ISIS has announced its intention of capturing the city, and the adjoining hydroelectic dam, as their next prize in Iraq. It seems like a good time for locals to flee.
It’s not so simple, however. Like most of the Anbar Province cities under attack or about to be under attack, the surrounding area is a virtual no-man’s land, with militants and tribal fighters clashing here and there, shelling the main roads to prevent troop movements, and by extension preventing civilian movement.
Some 96,000 people are believed to still be in Haditha, and the only way in, or out, is in military aircraft with special permission. For the average local, all they can do is wait and wonder what’s going to happen next in the endless war for Anbar.