Truck drivers are no longer at liberty to enter the city, but must obtain the approval of security checkpoint officers. These officers are demanding what truck drivers have described as a “lucrative sums of cash”, in order to reach affected communities.
This comes as another heavy blow for a population whose patience has worn thin.
Almost three months have passed since government forces and terrorist militias, under the Popular Mobilisation Forces umbrella regained control of Fallujah - formerly under the control of Islamic State terrorists.
Aid has become the latest weapon, deployed in the prolonged war against terror in Iraq. Denying entry to humanitarian convoys will most certainly heighten the risk of famine in the western city.
Truck driver, Abu Abdallah Al Dulaimi, told FRB that “Baghdad operations, under the control of Saad Harbiah, have recently produced official paperwork detailing new rules which myself and other drivers must comply with. We are expected to pay nearly $1000, on top of a small tariff for every truck that passes through Fallujah, paid in cash to soldiers manning Suqoor security checkpoint. No payment, no entry”, he said.
These new regulations, Abu Abdallah added, have contributed to the inflation of humanitarian supply costs. “Under the excuse of ‘security demands’ official letters are produced, as and when they are needed, to extort truck drivers” he said.