As the battle for Mosul enters its fourth day, here’s the latest from the front lines…
Iraqi forces continue their push toward Mosul. One of the Kurdish generals participating in the battle predicts it will take two weeks to reach the city itself, and two months to liberate it.
Right now, we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of displacement. Thousands of people have been fleeing every day as Iraqi forces push north, liberating towns and villages outside Mosul. But as the fighting gets closer to the city itself, that number could increase dramatically.
Yesterday our team surveyed three new camps being established south of Mosul. These camps are expected to receive a wave of refugees, possibly in the next 24-48 hours, depending on how the battle progresses. Our team was there to assess conditions at the camps and identify the most critical needs.
We’re also readying another 2,000 food packages and hygiene kits for fleeing families. Each food package contains enough to feed a family for a month. Hygiene kits include shampoo, disinfectant, soap made by other refugees in Iraq, and more. Nearly 400,000 pounds of food have already distributed in the Mosul corridor, thanks to you.
We will continue to bring lifesaving food, water, and medicine to families fleeing Mosul—but we can only do so with your help.
ISIS is trying to stop families from escaping, as we saw in Fallujah earlier this year. There are unconfirmed reports of ISIS fighters killing civilians before their villages are liberated, or forcibly removing them from the area so they cannot escape.
Adding to the danger, some ISIS members have allegedly tried posing as Iraqi police in order to conduct ambushes in the Mosul corridor.
Christian towns to be liberated soon?
Currently, anti-ISIS forces are fighting for control of Qaraqosh, one of the most significant Christian cities in Iraq, a few miles east of Mosul. Prior to 2014, 50,000 people lived here. The city has been abandoned since ISIS took control.
Displaced Christians in Erbil (about 45 miles away) prayed and celebrated in response to the news that Qaraqosh might be liberated soon.
The situation in Mosul is developing rapidly. Stay tuned for more updates—and please continue to give, so we can continue showing up for families who flee.