Mosul – Seven thousand Iraqis left Mosul’s southern and eastern neighborhood in the last 48 hours, according to an Iraqi relief official.
Iyad Rafed, an Iraqi Red Crescent official, told Anadolu Agency that the Army troops and the Ministry of Immigration evacuated seven thousand civilians in the last 48 hours as the clashes between governmental forces and ISIS militants intensified.
He added that about six thousand civilians were transferred to al-Jadaa camp, while a thousand were moved to Hasan Sham and al-Khazer camps.
Rafed reported that this is the highest number of displacement since the Mosul offensive began in October.
In a related matter, an Iraqi civilian killed his mother and sister before committing suicide. According to a military official, the refugee is Yizidi from Bashiqa, who killed his mother, sister, and then himself using a Kalashnikov.
Last week, Minister of Immigration and Migrants Jasem Mohammed announced that since the Mosul liberation began, 90 thousand civilians had been displaced. While the UN expects a 1.5 million civilians to be displaced from Mosul.
Lt. Dureid Said told German News Agency that the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) liberated neighborhoods of al-Murour and al-Qadisiya al-Oula. He added that they were able to kill 26 ISIS militants and explode two booby-trapped cars.
The Iraqi army said it took full control of two more districts of east Mosul on Saturday, pushing back ISIS militants in a slow and hard-fought advance into the city whose 1 million residents face growing shortages of fuel, water and food.
A military statement said CTS troops took over the neighborhoods of al-Murour and al-Qadisiya al-Oula, expanding their area of control in the east of the city.
Despite the reported advance, the army’s progress in Mosul remains slow, facing brutal counter attacks from the well prepared and heavily armed militants despite their few numbers.
In an attempt to change the dynamics of the campaign now entering its seventh week, an armored division troops punched their way deeper into the city on Tuesday in an attack on a hospital believed to be used as a military base by ISIS.
They were forced to withdraw from the complex after an attack from ISIS, who deployed at least six suicide car bombs, although residents said the army was able to hold some territory nearby.
Although ISIS has already been forced to retreat from Tikrit, Ramadi and Falluja, its militants still hold large parts of Sunni regions near the Syrian border, and an area of land southeast of Mosul.
But the slow progress in Mosul has raised fears among residents and aid groups that the city will forced to endure siege-like conditions for several months.
With winter setting in and the city effectively sealed off by the army and its allies from all directions, humanitarian problems are escalating.
United Nations agencies who distributed aid inside recaptured eastern areas for the first time on Thursday were almost overrun by residents suffering acute shortages of food, fuel and water, and often trapped for days at home by fighting.
Iraqi police had to fire in the air and threaten to whip crowds with a hose to maintain order.
An aid worker who has recently returned from the Mosul area told Reuters: “Certainly inside Mosul there is a big need for medical and humanitarian assistance.”
“What we have no idea of today is the state of medical structures in Mosul and the precise needs of the population,” he added.
Authorities have tried to ease shortages by sending dozens of water trucks a day to neighborhoods under army control.