"In Iraq, displacement may be about to dramatically worsen with the focus of military action turning towards Mosul. Already, in recent months, some 213,000 people have fled their homes in different parts of the country. This includes 48,000 people from the Mosul area, 87,000 from the Falluja region, and 78,000 from Shirqat, Qayyara and surrounds," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said at a briefing, as quoted by the agency.
According to Edwards, humanitarian impact of a military offensive is expected to be "enormous" in Iraq’s second-largest city.
"Up to 1.2 million people could be affected," the spokesman stressed.
The Islamic State has controlled Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul for the past two years. The terror group, also known as Daesh in Arabic, is outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries.