U.N. Warns Of More Evacuations Amid Ops Against Isis In Iraq
The U.N.’s humanitarian aid coordinator for Iraq warned of possible evacuations of hundreds of thousands of civilians as the Iraqi forces prepare for three other operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) militants in the country.
“We think that by the end of those military operations several hundred thousand more civilians are likely to be displaced,” Lise Grande told reporters on Tuesday (August 8) in Geneva.
Grande further said teams are moving to areas near the expected operations in Tal Afar near Mosul and Hawija in Kirkuk province to the southeast and the western Anbar province.
She added they were briefed in recent days about military “mustering points” and planned evacuation routes.
One month after declaring victory in the city of Mosul, Iraqi forces are poised to attack Tal Afar, which is around 40 km (25 miles) to the west of Mosul, in what will be the next major battle against the militants.
Major-General Najm al-Jabouri estimated there were between 1,500 and 2,000 militants left in Tal Afar. The figure may include some family members who support them, he said.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command in June announced the military plan to liberate Hawija and other areas still under the control of the ISIS was completed.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in May that the offensive to liberate Hawija from ISIS militants would begin in the near future.