UN says 78,000 civilians could be trapped in Iraq's Hawija

By REUTERS
October 3, 2017 16:20
1 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BAGHDAD, Oct 3 - Up to 78,000 people could be trapped in Islamic State-held Hawija in northern Iraq, the United Nations said on Tuesday, as security forces push to recapture the town.

Iraq started an offensive on Sept. 21 to seize Hawija, which fell to the hands of militants after the Iraqi army collapsed in 2014 in the face of the Islamic State offensive and remains the last militant-held town in the country's north.

UN humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke said the number of people who have fled the fighting has increased from 7,000 people during the first week of the operation to some 12,500 people now. But up to 78,000 remain trapped, he said.

Iraqi security officials say the militants prevent some residents from leaving, while others are afraid of escaping towards government forces because of the explosives that might have been laid by Islamic State around the town.

"We remain concerned for the lives and well-being of these vulnerable civilians and remind those doing the fighting that civilians must be protected at all times and allowed to safely leave Hawija," Laerke said.

Laerke said more people were expected to flee the fighting in areas around Hawija in the next 24 to 48 hours as security forces push into more densely populated areas.

Hawija, north of Baghdad, and a stretch of land along the Syrian border, west of the Iraqi capital, are the last stretches of territory in Iraq still in the hands of Islamic State.

Related Content

Breaking news
July 22, 2018
Netanyahu calls Syrian White Helmets evacuation 'important humanitarian step'

By JPOST.COM STAFF