Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) The number of Iraqi refugees who have escaped the city of Mosul since the start of security operations to drive out Islamic State militants in October has reached 173.000, according to the Ministry of Migration and Displacement.
The number of refugees from Mosul and Kirkuk’s Hawija has reached 173.584, and those have been distributed to refugee camps in the provinces of Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salahuddin, Erbil and Dohuk, according to ministry spokesperson Sattar Nuroz.
The current refugee number is an increase from 169.999 refugees declared by the ministry two days ago.
On Tuesday, spokesperson of the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said in a press briefing that “people internally displaced as a result of conflict in Mosul city in Iraq is approaching 140,000”.
The UN puts the number of internally displaced people in the whole of Iraq at more than 3 million, and had voiced concerns over the fate of one million people upon the start of security operations to liberate Mosul.
Many at refugee camps are reportedly suffering from livelihood shortages and grappling with inclement weather. Others are also targeted by Islamic State fighters upon their escape from the extremist group’s strongholds.
Iraqi commanders are saying they became close to recapturing Mosul’s eastern section and hope to move forward to the west where Islamic State militants still hold some strongholds near the borders with Syria.