According to a high-profile NGO, at least 200,000 Iraqi civilians have been displaced since the beginning of the operation to liberate the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS terrorists.
Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a report released Sunday that the total number of civilians displaced from Mosul since October 2016 has surpassed 206,000.
The IOM said 45,000 people, who have fled the western sector of Mosul since February to the sites set up for the displaced, were also included in the assessment.
Iraqi forces, backed by allied militias, began the operation to liberate Mosul in October 2016, and has been able to push back the terrorists from eastern half of the war-torn city late in January.
Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency reporter days ago that nearly 4,000 people are escaping Mosul’s embattled west on a daily basis.
ISIS has been using civilians as human shields in order to slow Iraqi army advances into Mosul.
The civilians who have been able to escape from Mosul say the ISIS terrorists have resorted to brutal executions and torture tactics to prevent people from fleeing the city or cooperation with government forces.
In the latest raids against ISIS, Iraqi forces retook Mosul’s al-Hurriya Bridge, which leads to ISIS-held old city center from the south.