A senior Iraqi official has appealed to the US-led coalition to air-drop food and medicine to tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Fallujah, the Islamic State stronghold under siege by security forces.
The city's population is suffering from a shortage of food, medicine and fuel, according to residents reached by phone, and local media say several people have died.
Sohaib al-Rawi, the governor of western Anbar province where Fallujah is located, says an air-drop is the only way to deliver humanitarian supplies to residents after Islamic State mined the entrances to the city and prevented civilians from leaving.
"No force can enter and secure [the delivery] ... There is no option but for aeroplanes to transport aid," he said in an interview to al-Hadath TV, adding the situation is deteriorating by the day.
Fallujah, 50km west of Baghdad, is a long-time bastion of Sunni Muslim jihadists. In January 2014 it was the first Iraqi city to fall to Islamic State, six months before the group that emerged from al-Qaeda swept through large parts of northern and western Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
The Iraqi army, police and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias have imposed a near total siege on Fallujah since late last year.
Lise Grande, UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq, described conditions in Fallujah as "terrible".
"We're incredibly worried about the unconfirmed reports of people dying because of lack of medicine and widespread hunger," she told Reuters.
The United Nations appealed on Sunday (local time) for US$861 million to help Iraq meet a big funding gap in its 2016 emergency response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war against Islamic State which has left 10 million people in need of urgent aid.