Foundation For Relief And Reconciliation In The Middle East (FRRME) Releases Special Report On Ongoing Situation In Mosul, Iraq
The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, founded by Canon Andrew White, released a statement today, updating the public on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Mosul.
"We cannot say how much worse the situation will get. So many bad things have happened in this part of Iraq, bad things that have piled on top of each other,” Dr. Sarah Ahmed, Director of Middle East Operations for FFRME said today in a statement. “With the liberation of Mosul under way, we still cannot classify it as a good thing because there is so much horror still happening within the city.”
She also said that initially, many civilians were afraid to leave the city of Mosul and go to camps because it was too dangerous. "In the past few days, some of the Christians have gone back to their villages for the first time in two years to see the destruction in person,” she wrote. “If they can, they will try to rebuild their shattered lives.” She added that thousands have now fled into neighboring Khazir.
Rebuilding Mosul, she said, would be difficult. “The city's infrastructure is completely destroyed,” she wrote. “It has literally been eaten inside and out; there is an entire tunnel system under the city that can fit a tank.”
She called the situation “inhumane” and with winter coming, noticed there is a lack of basic supplies. To read her full report, click here.
Even if a charity has basic humanitarian supplies, such as food or medicine, oftentimes, it is too volatile in the region to actually deliver those much-needed goods.
USA Today is also reporting that Iraqi special forces have entered Mosul today for the first time in twenty-four months. Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) Spokesman, Air Force Col. John Dorrian confirmed this on Twitter. He wrote that along with Iraqi special forces, “others continue to advance, making steady progress as Daesch (ISIS militants) are forced to turn back.” Dorrian also noted that since the operation to free Mosul began, U.S.-led coalition forces have conducted more than 3,000 precision airstrikes in the area.
An estimated 9,700 children have been displaced in the fighting since October, according to UNICEF. That's in addition to the tens of thousands of adult civilians that have also been displaced.
As forces are working to liberate Mosul, many charities are working to end civilian suffering in the city and the surrounding areas. They have set up special camps to deal with the influx of refugees fleeing the war-torn areas.
Franklin Graham, the President of Samaritan’s Purse tweeted this morning that the charity is currently delivering emergency food supplies to those fleeing the war-ravaged city.
Open Doors, another Christian charity, is trying to rebuild churches and homes in the area. “Church bells throughout the plains of Nineveh are heralding the chimes of liberation,” Dr. David Curry, President and C.E.O of Open Doors, wrote in an email. “After more than two years of mass murder, freedom tolls- announcing the retreat of ISIS and other terror organizations within the region.”
“And while there’s great joy, it’s mixed with great sorrow,” he went on to say. “Because even though the jihadists have been pushed out of cities and villages, the stains of terror remain, hateful reminders of the nightmare so many have been forced to endure.”
He said those “reminders” included broken buildings, vandalized homes, including those sprayed with the letter “n” for “Nazarene” and ransacked churches. ISIS militants would routinely spray a building with the letter “n” after confiscating the structure from a Christian owner.
For the area, a significant amount of infrastructure will have to be rebuilt in order for civilians to be able to inhabit the area once again. Some also fear retaliation by retreating ISIS forces.
In addition, many charities have also cited a lack of funding as a significant impediment to their work in delivering crucial humanitarian assistance at this critical hour.