Civilians trapped in the city of Fallujah are living in fear of being killed by militants and bombing by the U.S.-led coalition, NBC News reported.
A source who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity said ISIS is using civilians as human shields to deter bombing by warplanes. The United Nations has also cited reports of human shields.
There are an estimated 750 to 1,000 fighters in and around the Iraqi city center, with many militants having shaved their beards to blend in with the civilian population, according to the source.
Starvation is also a problem, as many residents do not have food or money to buy supplies, according to a chairman of Fallujah’s local council. He told NBC News it is “very, very expensive to buy food there.”
An estimated 30,000-40,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in Fallujah.