UN concerned on civilians in ISIL-controlled Mosul areas

NEW YORK, May. 28 (MNA) – UN Deputy Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien, has today expressed his concern over the lives of tens of thousands of civilians remaining in ISIL-controlled Mosul areas.

The secretary-general said that even though the UN is not present on the fighting settings to move terrorists away the west of the Iraqi city still has alarming reports on its crimes against population.
It is estimated that about 200,000 people remain in the Old City, the ISIL´s last stronghold in Mosul, after being removed in mid-January from the eastern part and in the last three months from most of the territories west of the Tigris River .
According to O'Brien, Jihadists force civilians to remain locked in their homes, a measure aimed at using them as human shields in view of the air bombing by the Iraqi army and US air force. Children are the targets for snipers and the families are hard-pressed for clean water, food and medicine, he warned.
Over 760,000 people have left Mosul since the offensive started off in October to oust Islamic fundamentalists from the city they occupied in 2014. The UN expects this figure to rise as Iraq's troops and allies launch the final attack on The Old Town.
O'Brien stated that authorities had urged the people to leave the Old City, but ISIL prevented many of them from doing so.
Facing the reality that part of the civilians cannot leave their homes, the deputy secretary-general reminded all actors of the conflict their obligations under international humanitarian law and also the need for innocent men, women and children to be protected from military objectives.
"International laws are not ambiguous. The protection for civilians is a legal and moral obligation, "he said.


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