ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The United Nations (UN) on Thursday announced they expect another 200,000 people to flee their homes in Mosul as the fighting intensifies in the remaining Islamic State (IS)-controlled areas.
UN humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande mentioned nearly 700,000 people have already been displaced from Mosul since Iraqi forces launched an operation in October 2016 to retake the city from IS.
She added over 435,000 people had fled as a result of the launch of the second phase of the operation in February 2017.
“The numbers of people fleeing their homes in western Mosul are overwhelming,” Grande said in a statement.
“They are fleeing under very difficult circumstances,” she continued. “Many are food insecure and haven’t had access to safe drinking water and medicines for weeks or months.”
“It’s becoming more and more difficult to ensure civilians receive the assistance and protection they need,” Grande admitted.
It is estimated that over 400,000 people remain trapped in IS-held neighborhoods of Mosul.
Moreover, thousands of persons flee west Mosul daily, as Iraqi Security Forces reclaim areas around the Old City.
There are fears many civilians will become casualties due to the lack of food and water in the Old City as the battle rages.
The militant group captured Mosul in the summer of 2014 when it swept across northern Iraq.
Since then, Iraqi forces have retaken close to 90 percent of the territory.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany