05:11 GMT19 February 2020
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    Mosul municipality chief said that up to 500,000 people have fled the northern Iraqi city of Mosul since the government troops launched an operation aimed at liberation of the city from Daesh.

    MOSUL (Sputnik) – Up to 500,000 people have fled the northern Iraqi city of Mosul since the government troops launched an operation aimed at liberation of the city from the Islamic State terror group (Daesh), Abdul Sattar Habbo, Mosul municipality chief, told Sputnik on Friday.

    On Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement that cumulatively more than 367,000 individuals had been displaced by Mosul operations.

    "Within last several days over 50,000 people fled western Mosul district, so the total number of refugees from this region since the start of the operation is reaching 500,000," Habbo said.

    Daesh terrorist group took over Mosul in June 2014. The operation aimed at liberating the city from terrorists started in October 2016. The eastern part of the city was liberated by Iraqi and US-led coalition forces in late January. In February, the Iraqi forces began the operation aimed at liberating western Mosul from Daesh.

    Iraqi President Fuad Masum told Sputnik in March that the humanitarian situation in Mosul was catastrophic, however, it would not be "sensible" to leave the city to terrorists.


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