Clashes between ISIS and Iraqi forces caused extensive destruction in Western Mosul: UN

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Iraqi forces fire a self-propelled howitzer towards ISIS-held village near Mosul. File photo

Geneva (UN) – Using satellite imagery and local researches, the most recent evaluation confirms that western Mosul has undergone extensive destruction, “far greater than in the east,” according to a senior United Nations aid official in the country.

“The level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

With more than 1,140 housing sites having been destroyed across the city, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) confirms that damage to houses in western Mosul is two and a half times greater than in the eastern districts with one-third of the residential devastation reported to have occurred in the Al Jadeda neighbourhood.

Ms. Grande pointed out that nearly 300,000 civilians have already fled western Mosul and “hundreds of thousands more may in the days and weeks ahead.”

She stressed that homes are being destroyed, schools and health centres damaged and that crucial public infrastructure, including electricity and water stations, are in ruins.

“Under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians and limit damage to civilian infrastructure. Nothing is more important,” concluded the Humanitarian Coordinator.

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