Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Mosul Civilians Flee ISIS in East, PMF in West | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55362289

People who are fleeing the fighting between Islamic State and Iraqi army in Mosul are pictured in Samah district, eastern Mosul, Iraq November 12, 2016. REUTERS/Zohra – Bensemra

Mosul – Thousands of Mosul families decided to escape the town in opposite directions, running away from ISIS terrorists and the Popular Mobilization Forces. Civilians choose to either head towards Iraqi security forces in southeast the city or Syria.

On the northwest side of Mosul, hundreds of families chose to go to the Syrian border escaping ISIS and PMF militias that control the west axes of the city.

Displaced citizen Abo Omar, 47, said that the villages were looted and destroyed by Shiite militias. He added that they killed dozens of young men and robbed the homes which prompted the families to escape the area towards Syria.

Abo Omar recounted the tough journey he and ten members of his family went through until they reached Syria.

Sheikh of al-Sada al-Bekara tribes in Nineveh, Jomaa Ahmed al-Dawar told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that PMF militants killed dozens of civilians in villages of Tal Afar, Tal Abta and al-Hadar districts. He mentioned that over 70 villages, 100 KM southwest of Mosul, are besieged by PMF.

According to the Sheikh, PMF did crimes against humanity and destroyed house of worship. He added that the militias continue to randomly bomb residential areas. To make things worse, civilians were not able to transport the injured to Mosul or Republican hospitals because they were heavily bombarded by the international coalition.

In addition, thousands of families continue to escape towards Iraqi forces after being under ISIS control. They are then transported by buses to the refugee camps.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper accompanied the forces during their rescue missions to help families escape from the left side of Mosul.

Mohammed Younes Thanon from al-Qadisiyyah said that the Iraqi security Forces ensured the safety passage of the families into areas to the east of Mosul.

He explained that the camps can’t contain the large number of displaced citizens and thus many are staying on the streets or in buildings’ entrances.

Thanon described the destructed cities and mentioned that many families were buried under the rubble.

Both the Iraqi government and international organizations are not able to take in the increased number of civilians fleeing areas under ISIS control or ensure safe corridors for those entrapped inside Mosul.

United Nations Human Rights Office of High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) called upon the Iraqi forces to protect civilians and safe corridors to extract them from combat areas.

The organization said, in a statement issued, that there are reports that confirm a number of civilians were killed or injured while trying to escape combat zones in Mosul.