UPDATE: As Humanitarian Crisis Looms in Fallujah, Iraqi Forces Look To Liberate Mosul
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a bulletin yesterday outlining the humanitarian crisis in Fallujah, Iraq. They said over 83,000 civilians have fled the city since late May. This comes as Iraqi military forces reclaimed most of the city from ISIS.
The civilians are being taken to Ameriyat al Fallujah, a town 30 k.m. south of the city of Fallujah and are temporarily settled in “tent camps.” They will be given food, water and medical care, but the UN warns that resources are limited.
The situation is severe and the need for humanitarian assistance is urgent. “The families that have fled to safety have fled with nothing and need everything,” according to the UN.
In order to escape the city, thousands of people jumped into the Euphrates River and swam across it to safety. However, not everyone that escaped survived.
“There are reports of people drowning as they tried to escape, or being injured or killed by snipers or improvised explosive devises,” according the UN bulletin.
The crisis is severe and the need for humanitarian assistance is urgent. “About 190,000 people have been newly displaced along the Anbar and Mosul corridors this year,” according to the UN. There are currently “10 million people in need.”
In a region has been in upheaval for years, UN figures estimate that “more than 3.3 million Iraqis have fled their homes since 2014.”
The Times of Israel reported on Saturday that Iraqi forces are attempting to reclaim Mosul, which is the last major urban stronghold of ISIS in Iraq. The area is extremely dangerous with troops battling the threat of sniper fire and hidden landmines.