BARELY a day after the occupation forces announced "mission accomplished" over their task of clearing Fallujah of resistance fighters, the US military unleashed air strikes, artillery and mortar rounds on the city.
It was also forced to admit to the presence of a significant number of armed Iraqis continuing to resist the invaders in the south of Fallujah.
As ever, the occupiers had precise figures for casualties among the US troops and their Iraqi collaborators, along with an estimate of 1,200 dead resistance fighters, who are described as "anti-Iraqi forces."
But, once again, there is no assessment of civilian deaths, although these are said to be few because so many residents quit the city before the US military began its final onslaught.
However many Fallujans fled their homes before the fighting intensified, it is indisputable that tens of thousands of civilians remained there.
And these people have been denied food, water and medical treatment for about a week.
The US military claims that civilians will be looked after if they approach occupation troops, but given the trigger-happy nature of the invaders and the disregard for human life illustrated by the destruction of Fallujah, few will trust this offer.
Efforts by the Iraqi Red Crescent to deliver emergency supplies to the civilians have been frustrated by the refusal of the occupying forces.
Tales of terror are emerging of the mistreatment of staff and patients at Fallujah hospital when US troops and their Iraqi allies occupied it at the beginning of the ground assault on the city.
They include patients being dragged from their beds, staff being beaten and robbed and women doctors being strip-searched.
If only part of this evidence were true, it would still be an indictment of the occupiers' disregard for human dignity and the rules of war.
The so-called interim government plans to visit the US marines' headquarters in Fallujah to assess the condition of civilians and make recommendations for assistance.
Apart from the impossibility of making such judgements from the inside of US military headquarters, it is incredible that this US-approved group of people that purports to act as Iraq's government - albeit in an interim capacity - has not seen fit to speak out against the invaders' barbaric assault on a city of 300,000 people.
For most Iraqis, the onslaught on Fallujah is on a par with Saddam Hussein's propensity for waging war against recalcitrant cities.
How any Iraqi organisation can remain seated within the interim government when the invaders are turning entire areas of Fallujah into blood-soaked rubble defies belief.
Nor is Fallujah likely to be the final destination for the US destruction express.
The outbreaks of resistance in Ramadi, Baqouba, Mosul and elsewhere herald further "pacification" operations in these areas, with ever-higher totals of civilian casualties, unless international pressure succeeds in stopping the US-British war criminals in their tracks.
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