Iraqi forces urge civilians to vacate Mosul

Iraqi army aircraft dropped leaflets over western Mosul urging residents to abandon Daesh-held areas. It was the second such warning in the past week, as the Iraqi military presses forward with its offensive in the city.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An Iraqi Federal Police member fires towards Daesh positions during a battle in western Mosul on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

Iraqi forces are urging civilians to leave Daesh-held areas in western Mosul, as they continue their offensive against remnants of the terrorist group holed up in the city.

"Our units are continuing to advance ... and entered Al Saha al-Oula and Al Zinjili and Al Shifaa neighbourhoods and the Republican Hospital," Joint Operations Command spokesperson Yahya Rasool said on Monday.

TRT World's Andrew Hopkins has more.

Ahead of Monday's operations, planes dropped leaflets urging citizens to leave and move to the relative safety of areas under Iraqi military control.

The areas mentioned by Rasool are located north of Mosul's Old City, where Daesh also still holds significant territory. They are the main target of the latest offensive, which Iraqi forces announced on Saturday.

The spokesman said Daesh was using explosive-rigged vehicles, snipers and suicide bombers in its bid to slow the offensive.

More than seven months into the massive operation to retake Mosul, Iraqi forces have recaptured the city's east and large parts of its western side. But Daesh is still putting up resistance.

Up to 200,000 people still live behind Daesh lines in Mosul's Old City and three other districts, a UN official said on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Reuters)

UN says civilians facing food shortage

Tens of thousands of civilians in parts of Mosul are struggling to get food, water and medicine, the United Nations said on Sunday.

Up to 200,000 people still live behind Daesh lines in Mosul's Old City and three other districts, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande said.

Some 700,000 people, about a third of the pre-war city's population, have already fled, seeking refuge either with friends and relatives or in camps.

Daesh overran large areas of Iraq north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes, and Iran-backed militia have since regained much of the territory lost to the extremist insurgency.

TRTWorld and agencies