Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Three children died Tuesday due to food and medicine shortages as refugee convoys from Kirkuk’s Islamic State stronghold town of Hawija were stranded outside the province’s center.
A local source at Kirkuk’s municipal council told Alsumaria News that the three children died due to the lack of foodstuff and medicine supplies for 600 refugees who fled Hawija to the province. He said the refugees were held at the Khaled crossing for ten days.
The source said keeping the families outside could endanger their lives.
Since taking over large areas of Iraq in 2014 to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”, Islamic State militants held several towns and regions in southwestern Kirkuk, most notably Hawija, where thousands of civilians fled to refugee camps while others have been executed for either attempting to escape or collaborating with security.
Security campaigns against IS and the group’s bloody system of governance have displaced more than 400.000 since October, and more than four million have been displaced since IS emerged in 2014 according to the government.
The Iraqi government has not yet launched any security campaigns to retake IS-held towns of Hawija, but it is expected to do so after it eliminates militants from Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the Islamic Stat where a security offensive has been running since October.