As many as 15,000 people have been fleeing Mosul every day since the start of the US-led coalition’s most recent offensive started on February 19, Melany Markham of the Norwegian Refugee Council told.
Iraqi defense officials in Mosul have reported that more than 200 civilians have been killed in a recent airstrike carried out by the US-led coalition.
According to reports, the airstrike was carried out March 17 in the neighborhood of Mosul al-Jadida, where Iraqi and coalition forces are battling ISIS militants.
Local residents have reported that the airstrike hit an explosive-filled truck used by ISIS, causing a massive explosion that collapsed nearby residential buildings.
Iraqi Vice President Osama Nujaifi called the incident a “humanitarian disaster” and UN officials said they were “profoundly concerned” by the attack.
As conflict rages in Mosul, as many as 15,000 people a day are arriving at refugee camps outside the city, where and aid organizations are struggling to provide the resources for all of them.
Melany Markham, Media Coordinator with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), told that there are a lot of conflicting reports about what is happening in Mosul. NRC receives reports from people fleeing the city to refugee camps.
“We have heard a lot of conflicting reports about the destruction occurring in Mosul and some of the people who have been displaced and who have been aided by NRC have described entire homes being destroyed with the families in them,” Markham said.
“As to who is causing that or what is causing that destruction, it’s very difficult to say. NRC doesn’t work inside Mosul. However, the coalition has announced that they have opened an investigation into this recent incident which occurred on 17 March and the findings of that investigation should be determined over the next few weeks”, she added.
Refugees from Mosul have told NRC harrowing stories about what is happening there. It appears that as ISIS terrorists are losing control of the city, they are committing more crimes against the civilian population.
“We have heard some very distressing stories. One man who has fled Mosul told us that ISIS had invaded his home and said to the family, ‘we’re all going to die together.’ Markham said.