AN ESTIMATED 350,000 children are trapped in siege-like conditions and risk execution under IS in the next stage of conflict, aid agencies have warned. Half of the 750,000 trapped civilians in west Mosul are children who IS will try to kill if they attempt to leave, Save the Children reported.
Those who remain are at extreme risk from the devastating impact of artillery and other explosive weapons used in the narrow and more densely-packed streets of the western districts. More than three months into the Mosul offensive, the humanitarian crisis in western sections of the city is increasingly desperate, with more casualties expected as Iraq's infantry enters the city.
The trapped 750,000 civilians are out of reach of aid agencies and running out of food, water and basic supplies. Trade routes to west Mosul have been cut off for months and bridges connecting the recaptured areas of the east to the districts of the west have been destroyed. There are no safe routes out for residents in the parts of the city still under IS control.
Save the Children is calling on Iraqi forces and their allies, including the US and UK, to take every possible precaution to minimise the risk to civilians and ensure children and their families have safe routes to escape as soon as possible. - INM
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