ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Displaced children of Mosul, whose city remains under the control of the Islamic State (IS), called for an end to war, saying they want to return to school and continue studying.
When IS emerged in Mosul in June 2014, the group expanded to different provinces in Iraq including Nineveh, Diyala, Salahaddin, and Anbar.
Since then, the group largely shrunk to the center of Mosul, the second-largest city in the country.
As the clashes continue in Mosul between Iraqi forces and IS insurgents, more and more people are displaced in the area, searching for a safe zone.
Civilians in general and children, in particular, are one of the main victims of the clashes and suffer from challenging life conditions, often being displaced from their homes.
On Monday, Kurdistan24 interviewed several children who fled with their families from IS in Mosul.
“I enjoyed school before the arrival of [IS]. I only want to go back to school and play with friends,” a displaced 7-year-old girl in northern Mosul expressed her impatience to Kurdistan24.
“I want this war to end soon to restart school,” she added.
Recently, the United Nations reported about 59,000 people had been displaced from Mosul since the beginning of the military operation on Oct. 17.
The report also mentioned 26,000 of the displaced people were children.
Hassan Ahmed was another child who fled from Mosul with his family. “I don’t want war. All I want is to play games in school and study. I don’t want [IS],” he said.
After the extremist group had controlled Mosul and other areas in Iraq, the insurgents changed the education system in the schools in the territories under their control.
IS imposed a strict Islamic education system on students leading many families to remove their children from school rather than being taught extremist ideology, a displaced parent told Kurdistan24.
“War has led me to be away from school. We don’t want war. I miss school and my friends. I want to study and play in school again,” Mohammed, a 6-year-old displaced child, stated.
On Nov. 16, IS used mortars and shelled al-Zahra neighborhood located in the northeast of Mosul. Most of the victims of the bombardment were children.
Iraqi security forces with the support of the US-led coalition warplanes continue to advance inside the city.
Commanders had previously mentioned civilians inside the city and IS booby traps slows down their operation in freeing the area from the extremist group.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Teyfur Mohammed contributed to this report)