MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the minister, the number of displaced residents of eastern Mosul who returned back to their homes after the liberation of the area has surpassed 90 percent amounting to 176,000 persons.
"Number of civilians displaced from western Mosul are estimated at 526,233 residents since the beginning of operations to liberate the western side of Mosul," Jaaf said in a statement cited by the Iraqi News outlet.
On Thursday, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said up to 200,000 more people are expected to flee Mosul as military operations intensify and move closer to the Old City area. A total of more than 630,000 people have been fled Mosul and surrounding areas since the start of the operation, according to Iraqi authorities.
The Mosul offensive started in October 2016. The eastern part of the city was liberated by Iraqi and US-led coalition forces in late January, and in February, Iraqi forces began their operation to liberate the western Mosul from Daesh.
On April 1, Brig. Gen. Shaker Alwan Khafaji, one of the Iraqi Federal Police heads, told Sputnik that only 25-30 percent of western Mosul's territory was under the terrorists' control, and that Iraqi government forces are continuing in their efforts to liberate the city's districts.