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Humanitarian crisis escalates in Mosul as besieged residents face starvation

By Rudaw 18/5/2017
AFP file photo of west Mosul residents queuing for a meal.
AFP file photo of west Mosul residents queuing for a meal.
MOSUL, Kurdistan Region— Shortage of food and clean water in western Mosul has forced the remaining residents to survive on fruit and leaves, as intense clashes between Iraq’s army and ISIS militants continues to lock the residents inside their homes, according to an Iraqi lawmaker and many fleeing refugees from the area. 

“The western half of Mosul faces genocide and deliberate starvation by the ISIS and many are dying from malnutrition as we speak,” warned Naif Shammari who is a member of the Iraqi parliament representing Mosul. 

“Flour and potatoes are the main meals for the absolute majority of the residents and even these are scarce as restriction on movement inside the city has caused severe shortage,” Shammari told Rudaw.

“Clean water is also severely rationed, and now people are force to buy water which costs 10,000 dinars ($8) a kilo and is sold in buckets or plastic bags,” he added.  

Rudaw has interviewed several fleeing families who confirm that most of the remaining residents in western Mosul are eating leaves and nuts and drinking dirty water to survive as movements inside the city has become nearly impossible. 

“Hunger, thirst and death, that’s been our condition. We haven’t had anything to eat for the past 15 days. We fed our children with bread. Many children have died of hunger,” said Hamdiya Younis as she arrived with her family in government-controlled areas in eastern Mosul. 

The government has urged the remaining population to stay indoors in the old town districts where ISIS still controls parts of the city and putts up stiff resistance. 

The army has announced it’s airforce will target any moving vehicles in the area. 

General Abdulamir Rashid Yaralla, commander of the Mosul operation, said Monday that the militants remain in control of around 9 percent of the western districts of the city. 

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