Mosul operation displaced over 10,500 civilians so far: UN

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Displaced people from Mosul taking shelter on the Iraqi-Syrian borderline. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Erbil – The United Nations said Wednesday that over 10,000 Iraqi civilians have fled their homes since the start of a US-backed operation to retake Mosul city from ISIS.

The Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iraqi Army troops, supported by an air cover from the US-led coalition, started on October 17 a battle for Mosul to expel militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) from their main bastion in northern Iraq.

“Over 10,500 people are currently displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.

“Population movements are fluctuating as the front lines move, including people returning to their homes following improved security conditions in the immediate area,” it said.

Crossing Into Rojava 

In the meantime, Syrian Kurdish sources reported that thousands of displaced people from Mosul have crossed the border into Syria last week, and many of them were sheltered in the al-Hawl Camp in Hasakah Governorate. 

The Kurdish-led Self-Administration of Rojava confirmed that its local committees in Hasakah provided thousands of Iraqi families with shelter in the al-Hawl Camp –near the Syrian-Iraqi border.

“Thousands of civilians crossed the border into Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region] over the past few days, fleeing the intensified fighting in Nineveh Governorate, especially in the vicinity of Mosul city,” Hozan Mahmo, a member of the Hawl Camp administration, told ARA News.

The directory of al-Hawl Camp appealed to the international community to provide aid to the camp in order to be able to shelter “as many displaced Iraqi civilians as possible”. 

“The camp suffers from shortage of basic supplies. We hope that the international community would assist us to cope with this unprecedented influx of Iraqi refugees into Rojava,” it said in a statement.

“Tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees are expected to arrive in Rojava,” Aldar Xelil, co-chair of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM), said on Saturday.“It is our humanitarian duty to receive these refugees and facilitate their safety despite our limited resources.

Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri and Ahmed Shiwesh | Source: ARA News

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