MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Iraq on Thursday to assess the humanitarian situation in the country amid the ongoing fight of the government army against Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other states worldwide.
"Just arrived in Iraq to focus on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground. Protection of civilians must be the absolute priority," Guterres wrote on Twitter.
Just arrived in Iraq to focus on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground. Protection of civilians must be the absolute priority. pic.twitter.com/miIX0OaFCv— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) 30 марта 2017 г.
Earlier this week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that over 286,000 Iraqis were displaced due to the ongoing military operation to liberate Iraq's second largest city Mosul from jihadists. According to reports, hundreds of civilians die as a result of battles between the Iraqi army backed by the US-led coalition forces and Daesh.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated on Tuesday that at least 307 civilians had been killed and 273 injured in the area near Mosul between February 17 and March 22, as Daesh militants continue to use civilians as human shields in the fight against Iraqi government forces.
Also on Tuesday, Iraqi President Fuad Masum described in an interview with Sputnik the situation in Mosul as a humanitarian catastrophe due to the civilian deaths, but urged to continue recapturing the city.