Military operations to retake Telafar from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began in the morning of 20 August.
Thousands of people fled Telafar in recent days, in anticipation of the coming military campaign. An estimated 40,000 people live in the district, including up to 10,000 in Telafar city. To date, more than 30,000 civilians fled Telafar since the end of April, and thousands more are likely to leave during the military operation.
Civilians who manage to escape the fighting are escorted to mustering points in Masaid to the southeast, Buweyr to the northeast, or to the newly established mustering site of Talmajan, near the Telafar Airport to the south of the city, where they receive emergency assistance. As water and food supplies run low in ISIL-held areas and the fighting intensifies, the welfare of remaining civilians is of grave concern.
Expected humanitarian impact:
The most dangerous moment civilians typically face, is when they leave their homes for safety. Given these challenging conditions, ensuring adequate health care at the mustering points is essential. Another concern is that if the number of people displaced is too large, challenges may arise as a result of limited transportation capabilities as well as camp space designated for the sheltering of IDPs from Telafar. The military is capable of transporting an estimated 500 to 3,000 people every day. Civilians who remain in Telafar face a range of protection challenges during the upcoming period.
Humanitarian response and coordination:
The Government of Iraq is leading the humanitarian operation, providing emergency aid and transport to emergency sites for displaced people. Humanitarian partners support the government response with emergency assistance at mustering points and comprehensive humanitarian assistance in camps, as requested. Humanitarian partners are assisting displaced residents at the two mustering points of Masaid and Buweyr, where the full range of humanitarian services are available for them. The Iraqi Security Forces have requested humanitarian partners support the third and new mustering point of Talmajan, which the humanitarian community is presently mobilising for. At mustering points civilians receive water, food, have access to sanitation facilities and shelter from the sun, and are assessed for urgent health needs. Following screening, displaced people are accommodated in camps in southern Ninewa Governorate. The situation is being carefully monitored to ensure the humanitarian response is prepared for an increase in the rate of displacement and needs.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.