More than 2000 a day are fleeing Mosul - UN

More than 2000 a day are fleeing Mosul - UN
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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The UN says this is several hundred more each day than before US-led coalition forces began a new phase of their battle to retake the city from ISIL.

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More than 2000 Iraqis a day are fleeing Mosul.

The UN says this is several hundred more each day than before US-led coalition forces began a new phase of their battle to retake the city from ISIL.

After quick initial advances, the operation stalled for several weeks.

However, last Thursday, Iraqi forces renewed their push from Mosul’s east towards the Tigris River on three fronts.

The security forces have taken about a quarter of Mosul since October.

Most residents, however, have stayed put despite severe shortages of food and water.

More than 2,000 Iraqis a day are fleeing Mosul as U.S.-led coalition forces advance: https://t.co/DM9SuAEdbOpic.twitter.com/IoDEXW24YX

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 4, 2017

How is the humanitarian situation?

Dire, according to aid workers.

Food stockpiles are dwindling and the price of staples is spiralling.

Fresh water is in short supply, while camps and emergency centres in the south and east are reaching maximum capacity.

More than 125,000 people have been displaced out of a population of roughly 1.5 million.

However, the UN’s refugee agency says the numbers have increased by nearly 50% to 2,300 daily.

This is from 1,600 over the last few days.

Most of the fleeing civilians are from the eastern districts.

However, people from the besieged west, which is still under the militants control, are increasingly attempting to escape.

Some 112k displaced ppl from #Mosul have found shelter in camps & sites where they receive #MosulAid. More: https://t.co/xgzZGZr3vE#Iraqpic.twitter.com/1udCfqGaCa

— OCHA Iraq (@OCHAIraq) January 4, 2017

What about civilian casualties?

The UN says many more civilian casualties are being recorded.

The militants have embedded themselves among residents and are using the city terrain to their advantage.

Advances

Elite interior ministry troops are clearing the Mithaq district.

They entered it on Tuesday, when counter-terrorism forces also retook an industrial zone.

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Military sources also say the federal police are advancing on the Wahda district.

How long has the operation been underway?

It is in its 12th week.

This is Iraq’s largest military campaign since the US-led invasion in 2003.

What would victory in Mosul mean?

An Iraqi victory in Mosul would probably spell the end for ISIL’s self-styled caliphate.

However, in recent days, the militants have displayed the tactics to which they are likely to resort if they lose the city.

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There have been a series of bomb attacks in Baghdad.

Security forces have been attacked in other places.

What they are saying

“We were very afraid,” – a Mithaq resident

#UNSC discussed #Mosul today. UK supports Iraqi Government efforts to liberate their people from #Daesh while protecting civilians. pic.twitter.com/U9tNkKY3Xd

— Matthew Rycroft (@MatthewRycroft1) January 4, 2017

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