Poor fam­i­lies are strug­gling for suf­fi­cient food


GENEVA/BAGH­DAD: A flee­ing seven-year-old child was among dozens more civil­ians al­legedly ex­e­cuted by the Daesh group in Mo­sul in re­cent weeks, the UN said on Tues­day.

Since the bat­tle to re­take the last Daesh bas­tion in Iraq be­gan six weeks ago, the United Na­tions rights of­fice has re­ported hun­dreds of al­leged ex­e­cu­tion-style killings by Daesh, stress­ing that some of the pur­ported atroc­i­ties have not been defini­tively con­firmed.

The most re­cent al­le­ga­tions in­clude a Nov. 22 killing of “a sev­enyear-old child who was run­ning to­ward the Iraqi Se­cu­rity Forces in Adan neigh­bor­hood in eastern Mo­sul,” rights of­fice spokes­woman Rav­ina Sham­dasani told reporters in Geneva.

That shoot­ing was part of a re­ported trend of Daesh gun­men spray­ing fire on those try­ing to es­cape the strife-torn city, ac­cord­ing to the rights of­fice.

The UN has also re­ceived re­ports about a Nov. 11 mas­sacre in Mo­sul’s eastern Bakir neigh­bor­hood that saw 12 peo­ple re­port­edly shot dead for “re­fus­ing to al­low (Daesh) to in­stall and launch rock­ets from the rooftops of their houses,” said Sham­dasani.

She added that Daesh has ap­par- ently “been in­stalling rocket launch­ers and plac­ing snipers on the rooftops of civil­ian houses,” in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions, with con­se­quences for res­i­dents who refuse to co­op­er­ate.

In a Nov. 25 in­ci­dent, 27 civil­ians were re­port­edly shot dead in Mo­sul’s north­ern Muhan­dis­een Park, pos­si­bly for “leaking in­for­ma­tion” to the Iraqi Se­cu­rity Forces, Sham­dasani said.

The rights of­fice has said that its stan­dard prac­tice of ver­i­fy­ing al­leged atroc­i­ties through mul­ti­ple sources has not al­ways been pos­si­ble amid the chaos in Mo­sul, but that its in­for­ma­tion has come from a range of re­li­able sources on the ground. Iraqi forces are as­sault­ing vil­lages far south of Mo­sul in the Nin­eveh prov­ince, at­tempt­ing to clear ru­ral ar­eas of Daesh fight­ers who stayed be­hind to hin­der their ad­vance.

Sev­eral hun­dred fight­ers from the army, state-sanc­tioned Shi­ite mili­tias and para­mil­i­tary fed­eral po­lice massed in the vil­lage of Haj Ali on Tues­day, firing mor­tars at Daesh po­si­tions in the vil­lages of Shay­ala Abali and Shay­ala Ayma, 90 km from Iraq’s sec­ond largest city.

Dust ob­scured the view as a col­umn of Humvees ad­vanced on the vil­lages across an open field, firing heavy ma­chine guns and backed by mor­tars.

The gov­ern­ment last month launched a mas­sive cam­paign to re­take Mo­sul, cap­tured by Daesh in 2014. It is the ex­trem­ist group’s last ma­jor ur­ban cen­ter in Iraq. Mo­sul strug­gling,

says UN The United Na­tions said on Tues­day there were indi­ca­tions that poorer fam­i­lies in Mo­sul are strug­gling to feed them­selves as food prices in­crease fol­low­ing the US-backed of­fen­sive on the Daesh­held city in north­ern Iraq.

“Key in­for­mants are telling us that poor fam­i­lies are strug­gling to put suf­fi­cient food on their ta­bles,” UN Hu­man­i­tar­ian Co­or­di­na­tor in Iraq, Lise Grande, told Reuters. “This is very wor­ry­ing.”

Iraqi gov­ern­ment and Kur­dish forces sur­round the city from the north, east and south, while Pop­u­lar Mo­bi­liza­tion forces — a coali­tion of Ira­nian-backed Shi­ite groups — are try­ing to close in from the west. Last week the Pop­u­lar Mo­bi­liza­tion forces cut off the sup­ply route to Mo­sul from Daesh-held ter­ri­tory in Syria.

Dis­placed Iraqi peo­ple who left their homes ride in a mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle of Iraqi se­cu­rity forces dur­ing a bat­tle with Daesh mil­i­tants in Mo­sul, on Wed­nes­day. (Reuters)

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