More than 100,000 people have been displaced as a result of the massive operation to recapture Iraq’s second city Mosul, the International Organisation for Migration said on Sunday. Iraq launched the operation to retake Mosul — the last Iraqi city held by the Islamic State jihadist group — on October 17. Since the battle began, 103,872 people have been displaced, the vast majority from Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, the IOM said on its displacement tracking webpage.
Iraqi Displacement and Migration Minister Jassem Mohammed al-Jaff told AFP that 118,000 people had been displaced since the operation started, a figure that includes those who fled the IS-held Hawijah area in another province.
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Aid organisations had warned that a million or more people could be displaced by the Mosul operation, but those figures have yet to materialise. Forces from Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service have advanced deep into eastern Mosul, and nearly half of that side of the city has been recaptured.
But forces on the southern front have stalled south of Mosul, and those north of the city have also not entered it so far. West of Mosul, Iraqi paramilitaries aim to retake Tal Afar, located between the city and Syria, but have yet to launch an assault on the town itself.
IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since regained much of the territory they lost that year.