Oxfam: Two Thousand Civilians Died or Wounded in Mosul Operation
February 15, 2017 at 11:50 pm
Oxfam said that around 2,000 civilians were killed or injured in the first three months of the offensive to recapture Mosul and over 190,000 people fled their homes, although around 30,000 have now returned.
According to the international agency, an estimated 750,000 people are trapped in western Mosul without any safe means of escape from the latest military offensive that could start any day, Oxfam warned today. Humanitarian conditions in the west of the city are deteriorating after supply routes were cut off in November when the east of the city was being recaptured.
The organization also said it is deeply concerned for the safety of families trapped in western Mosul, and particularly the Old City where the narrow, densely-populated streets could become a death trap.
Meanwhile, the international agency calls on the Iraqi-led coalition to continue to uphold the Prime Minister’s commitment to prioritise the protection of civilians in the military operations.
Andres Gonzalez, Oxfam’s country director in Iraq, said: “This next phase of fighting carries the highest stakes yet for civilians. The idea that families could be trapped amid heavy fighting – particularly in the narrow streets of the Old City – without any safe means of escape is a terrifying prospect.
He said, “Oxfam calls upon all armed forces to avoid the use of heavy weapons in populated and built up areas, including mortars and artillery, and to provide genuinely safe escape routes to avoid the high number of civilian casualties seen so far.”