A displaced Iraqi man from Mosul carries the body of his son, who was killed in the government forces ongoing offensive to retake the city from from ISIS group fighters. Photo: AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region— Nearly 4,000 civilians have been killed in densely populated areas in western Mosul since the fresh operation started last February and over 10,000 residential homes have been destroyed in the area following the month-long battle to drive out Islamic militants from the city, according to the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights.
The group says it has recorded 3,846 civilian deaths, mainly based on eyewitness accounts, as the street and house-to-house clashes continue unabated in the city.
It also urges Iraqi and coalition forces to show restraint and avoid military actions in districts with civilian populations.
Iraqi army has said the ISIS militants use local residents as human shields often preventing the civilans from leaving their homes.
In one incident, nearly 40 people were killed in a coalition airstrike in western al-Jawsaq neighborhood after militants used the residents as human shields, the group says.
The group also warns of the scope of the destructed homes in the area where entire neighborhoods have been levelled to the ground.
Iraq’s ministry of migration said Saturday that at least 201,000 people had left western Mosul over the past month, bringing the total number of refugees fleeing from the city to over 433,000 people.
The ministry said most of the refugees had been assisted in nearby camps and warned of shortage of food and medical supplies in the coming weeks as larger numbers of refugees are expected to flee western parts of Mosul.