"We [the United States] and others in the international community and the NGO community are prepared when civilians come out of Fallujah to provide them with the assistance that they need," Pennington said.
On Wednesday, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said the United States was deeply concerned about the civilian population that was trapped in Fallujah amid the start of the Iraqi military’s offensive against the Islamic State.
According to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, an estimated 50,000 civilians, including at least 20,000 children, are unable to leave the besieged city at the moment.
The safety of Iraqi civilians, Pennington added, is a very high consideration for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi as security forces get ready to conduct the military operation with the support of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State.
The United Nations reported earlier that the Islamic State has moved families to the city center to shield militants from Iraqi forces.
The Iraqi Army has taken heights located in the southeastern regions of Fallujah that were earlier under the control of the Islamic State — prohibited in numerous countries including the United States and Russia — the deputy head of the Anbar Province said on Thursday.