Hundreds of Iraqi civilians are fleeing the villages around Tal Afar, a city in northwest Iraq, that many fear will be the next battleground in the fight over so-called Islamic State enclaves.
Aid workers say around 1,500 civilians have crossed the frontline in the last few days, arriving at this collection point just west of Mosul.
Alia Imad, fled one of the villages near Tal Afar, “There is no drinking water at all. Most people drink water that’s not clean. We are surviving on that and a bit of bread,” she says. “There was no food to buy and whatever there was, was very expensive. If you have money, you eat. If you don’t, you starve. My husband died, he had kidney failure. They didn’t allow me to bring his body here. But my son is in the hands of the state. I mean in the hands of Daesh (Islamic State militant group).”
Government forces have been deployed in the past week on the road connecting Mosul with Tal Afar. For the men escaping the region, they undergo security screening before being moved to camps in the Mosul area.
At the collection point, people are fed and offered medical care.
About 150 people arrived on Saturday, exhausted from a journey that for some of them had taken nearly a day.