A-list US celebrity Angelina Jolie, who is also a Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has called on the international community to help the people in the war-torn Iraqi city of Mosul, which was only second to Baghdad in terms of population before the war.
The Hollywood star walked through the ruins of the destroyed Old City and talked to the local families, who were striving to survive, rebuild their homes and get back to a normal life after three years of Daesh* occupation, a nine-month siege, airstrikes which reduced neighborhoods to rubble and street-battles which pitted Islamic radicals against the Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition. The US actress, who was visiting Iraq for the fifth time, described the damage done to the ancient city as “the worst devastation” she had seen in all her 17 years working with UNHCR.
“There are bodies in this rubble that stay here and you can smell the bodies and some of them have family members that are here and they are unable to move them,” she said in a statement.
She stressed that people there have been traumatized and lost everything; that they were left with no homes, no medicine for their children, and often with no running water or basic services, nor assistance to rebuild their homes. She called the conditions in West Mosul “appalling,” with camps near the city full and whole areas flattened.
She reprimanded the international community for the assumption that, “when the fighting is over, the work is done.”
“I recognize the great sacrifices made in the liberation of Mosul. I hope there will be a continued commitment to rebuilding and stabilizing the whole of the city. And I call on the international community not to forget Mosul and not to turn their attention away from its people,” she said, pointing out that Iraq had taught US leaders “the dangers of leaving a void.”
Her tour made international headlines and stirred up the social media, as many Twitter users shared her devastation and praised Jolie for her active compassion.
Angelina Jolie visits #Iraq, West Mousel in second day of Eid:— Fatima🕊🇩🇪 (@sbask_92) 16 июня 2018 г.
“this is the worst devastation I’ve ever seen”
Look at her face, her eyes….
This is called humanity♥️#UNICEF #UNHCR pic.twitter.com/D2HBrpO84Z
She inspires me on so many levels. I want to be able to do this— Vanessa Rochelle (@vanessarxxiii23) 16 июня 2018 г.
True human— الذيابي احمد (@AlThayabiAhmed) 16 июня 2018 г.
Others used her trip to take aim at Trump.
Angelina Jolie got to Iraq faster than President Trump. https://t.co/deHkONVK1G— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) 17 июня 2018 г.
Hey I was watching CNN for a min because they didnt have any lying trump operatives on at the moment…anyway, angelina jolie was touring Iraq devastation for like the 5th time. Anybody know how many times cheetoh has been to Iraq or Afghanistan? pic.twitter.com/LCOGqt6bTF— Joe Marino (@JoeMarino2017) 16 июня 2018 г.
Some, however, criticized Jolie for what they considered hypocrisy…
Opportunists International: Angelina Jolie — who backed Washington's 'surge' in #Iraq, which led to the creation of #ISIS / #DAESH, then to the destruction of Mosul and Raqqa — comes back to cry for refugees. Remember this: https://t.co/83zWMK8c2v pic.twitter.com/p5T82cHlN1— tim anderson (@timand2037) 17 июня 2018 г.
The United Nations have been complicit in every Western War since its inception— Nina Notaballerina (@NinaKySt) 17 июня 2018 г.
Angelina Jolie visiting and "helping" iraq should not be trending haha. Jesus. That's a photo shoot and publicity stunt— Jake Watkins (@watkinsjake1997) 16 июня 2018 г.
Angelina needs to bring her ass home and lead the call against this sick US policy of separating kids from their parents & putting them in tent cities!! #EndFamilySeparation— ThatGirlAtTheParty (@tgatp) 16 июня 2018 г.
…and slammed the US for the Iraqi interference, which led, according to them, to the destruction of the region and “appalling” consequences.
so happy that america liberated them from sadam now they look nice and happy— GazMema (@Gaz_LTC) 16 июня 2018 г.
*Daesh is a terror organization, banned in Russia and many countries around the world.