QUESTION: Are reports of a blockade at Ashraf true and are residents receiving food, fuel and water?
ANSWER: The United States does not have a presence at Ashraf but we do maintain contact with Ashraf’s leadership and continuously raise issues regarding Ashraf with the Government of Iraq. Embassy personnel and other international organizations who have visited Ashraf in recent days have not seen evidence of a blockade. Our understanding is that over the past few months, there has been tension regarding fuel and other deliveries as the Government of Iraq has begun to monitor and inspect deliveries more closely as the end of the year approaches. We are not aware of any reports on limiting food or water. Fuel deliveries have been more of a concern, and we look to the Government of Iraq to deal with this issue in a responsible manner. We continue to remind the Government of Iraq of its commitment to treat the residents of Ashraf humanely and in accordance with its Constitution, laws and international obligations.