• Welcome!
    |
    ||
    Log Out|Manage Your Account
  • Today's Paper
May 27, 8:09 AM EDT

The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites has called on Iraqi forces battling to retake the city of Fallujah from Islamic State militants to protect civilians trapped there


Multimedia
Last U.S. combat troop leaves Iraq
Iraqi Election 2010: What's at Stake?
Returning Troops Find Alternative Motivations
U.S. Troop Casualties in Iraq
Related Stories
The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites has called on Iraqi forces battling to retake the city of Fallujah from Islamic State militants to protect civilians trapped there

Iraq has honored a police officer who stopped a would-be suicide bomber at a checkpoint in a northern Baghdad neighborhood this week

An 18-year-old has been sentenced to 38 years in prison for fatally shooting an Iraqi man taking photos of his first snowfall in Texas

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is announcing the start of military operations to retake the Islamic State-held city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City as families held funerals for two people killed in protests

Interactive
Iraqi Communities in the U.S.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites has called on Iraqi forces battling to retake the city of Fallujah from Islamic State militants to protect civilians trapped there.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani says that "saving innocent people from harm's way is the most important thing, even more so than targeting the enemy."

His comments were delivered at Friday prayers by his representative Ahmed al-Safi in the holy city of Karbala.

Earlier this week, Iraqi forces launched the offensive on Fallujah. The city is located 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad.

Rights groups have expressed concerns for the tens of thousands of civilians estimated to still be in the city, which has been in IS hands for more than two years.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.