350 000 children trapped in west Mosul: Charity

2017-02-19 21:21
Tanks and armoured vehicles of the Iraqi forces advance towards the village of Sheikh Younis, south of Mosul.(Ahmad al-Rubaye, AFP)

Tanks and armoured vehicles of the Iraqi forces advance towards the village of Sheikh Younis, south of Mosul.(Ahmad al-Rubaye, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Save the Children warned on Sunday that about 350 000 children were trapped in western Mosul as Iraqi forces launched a new offensive on jihadists defending the strategic city.

The London-based charity's Iraq country director, Maurizio Crivallero said: "Iraqi forces and their allies, including the US and UK, must do everything in their power to protect children and their families from harm and avoid civilian buildings like schools and hospitals as they push deeper into the city."

He warned that escape is not an option for most families, who risk summary execution by fighters from the Islamic State group, sniper fire and landmines...but they are also running out of food, water and medicine.

Narrow streets

"This is the grim choice for children in western Mosul right now: bombs, crossfire and hunger if they stay - or execution and snipers if they try to run," Crivallero said in a statement.

He added: "Safe escape routes for civilians must also be established as soon as possible."

The offensive to retake Mosul's west bank that began on Sunday could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on Iraq's second city, where the leader of the Islamic State group declared a "caliphate" in 2014.

The Iraqi government launched an offensive to reconquer Mosul on October 17 and declared east Mosul "fully liberated" on January 24.

Federal forces now face what was always one of the toughest challenges - the narrow streets of the Old City in Mosul's west bank, which are impassable for many military vehicles.

Save the Children warned that "the impact of artillery and other explosive weaponry in those narrow, densely-populated streets is likely to be more deadly and indiscriminate than anything we have seen in the conflict so far".

The 350 000 figure relates to people under the age of 18, a charity spokesperson confirmed.

Read more on:    save the children  |  iraq

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.