Thousands of Iraqis flee from fighting in Mosul

Thousands of Iraqi civilians flee as Iraqi government and DAESH battle for control of Mosul

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Iraqi families fleeing the violence in the northern city of Mosul arrive at the Kurdish checkpoint of Makhmur, about 280 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, on March 26, 2016.

Thousands of civilians fled fighting on Sunday on the new front opened by Iraqi forces against DAESH south of the city of Mosul.

Families carried in the back of pickup trucks, sometimes bringing dead and wounded with them, crossed the front line and were met by Kurdish Regional Government forces.

Iraqi Army troops and allied militias launched a major attack aimed at retaking Mosul from DAESH, which is the capital of Nineveh Province and the main hub of DAESH in Iraq.

The forces have been advancing from their base in Makhmur towards the town of Qayyarah, about 60 kilometers south of Mosul.

Growing numbers of civilians have been fleeing from the conflict to Makhmur where they are being assisted by KRG forces.

"So far we have received around 3,000 people and the numbers are growing every day," Ali Khodeir Ahmed, a member of Nineveh's provincial council.

"But there are no services offered to them by the Iraqi government, we have to put them up in a stadium in Makhmur," he said.

The Iraqi government has defined the attack as the first wave of what is expected to be a long operation to take back Mosul.

TRTWorld and agencies