Turkey- Thousands flee Fallujah as Iraq army secures safe ex...| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 02 April 2023 03:27 GMT

Turkey- Thousands flee Fallujah as Iraq army secures safe exit

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) >Thousands of refugees are pouring out of Fallujah through a safe exit corridor secured by the Iraqi army as the fight to retake the city from Islamic State extremists rages into its third week.

According to Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, 3,300 people fled Monday, joining another 4,000 who escaped during the weekend.

Thousands more are expected to make the journey in the coming days, overwhelming humanitarian efforts to help them.

Most of the civilians fleeing the fighting are going into 27 camps housing displaced people from other parts of Iraq''s Anbar province.

"The problem is, the camps are full," Grande said.

There is a massive effort underway to catch up, with various U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations working to build new camps, while providing food, safe drinking water, latrines, mobile clinics, and help for women who have suffered violence by IS extremists.

"We underestimated how difficult conditions were in Fallujah itself," Grande said, adding there were reports that "families have been brutalized, women have been brutalized, children have been brutalized."

More refugees expected
According to the United Nations, 43,000 people have run away from the city, despite the dangers of roadside bombs or being killed by Islamic State fighters.

The sudden rush out came after Iraqi forces, working with local tribal fighters, opened one safe exit corridor for civilians. They are now fighting to open up a second.

by Sharon Behn

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