Iraq: Humanitarians deeply concerned for remaining civilians in ISIL-held areas

Since the Mosul operation began in October 2016, some 916,000 people from that city have been displaced. After the recent defeat of ISIL in most parts of Mosul, a significant number of people have returned to their homes. However, about 692,000 people are still displaced and require some type of humanitarian assistance.

Humanitarians are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of civilians in the remaining ISIL-held part of western Mosul, as military operations in the Old City continue. Estimates of how many people remain in the Old City vary, but lower estimates range between 10,000 and 20,000 people. Al-Anbar and Kirkuk Governorates are also partly under ISIL control. In Al-Anbar, an estimated 80,000 people are still living in ISIL-controlled areas. And in Kirkuk Governorate, the number of displaced people who have managed to flee the town of Hawija had exceeded 98,000 as of 25 June, but some 50,000 to 60,000 people are still in this ISIL-controlled town.

Humanitarians do not have access to these areas, hence their extreme concern for the safety of civilians who are stranded in the conflict zone and trying to leave. These people face extremely high risks of cross fire, direct targeting and being used as human shields by ISIL. Those who have managed to escape west Mosul report increasingly deteriorating conditions.

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