The Iraqi Prime Minister has announced the start of the military operation to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS and Oxfam is concerned hundreds of thousands of civilians risk being caught in the crossfire.
Families in Mosul face a terrible choice between staying in ISIS controlled areas where many have reportedly suffered extreme violence and food shortages, or risking explosive devices and bullets to escape the fighting.
Oxfam’s country director in Iraq, Andres Gonzales, said the people of Mosul had already suffered enough.
“Genuinely safe routes must be provided so civilians can escape the fighting and get to the shelter and help they need,” he said.
“All armed forces should avoid the use of heavy weapons in built-up and populated areas and do everything possible to protect civilians.”
Oxfam is scaling up its existing operation in the area known as the Mosul Corridor to provide those who have fled the fighting with clean drinking water, toilets, blankets and other vital aid.
Oxfam has spokespeople available – both in Australia and in Iraq.
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses around the world can be made online.
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