BEIRUT, LEBANON (01:54 A.M.) – Almost 35,000 civilians have fled the Iraqi city of Mosul over the past week where fierce battles between the Iraqi Armed Forces and Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) continue.
Residents of Hamam al-Alil refugee camp south of Mosul spoke of the toll of the ongoing fighting that has taken the city. Camp manager Sajeda Jeboury highlighted the dire state of health services in the camp.
“We don’t have a division or a fully functional hospital that would be able to contain such large numbers,” she said, adding that “we have injuries, chronic diseases, cancer cases, disabled people, and senior citizens.”
Meanwhile, a civilian said in Arabic that: “There’s been a lot of fighting. Very strong fighting where we are, the children get scared. They fired mortars against us, very aggressively, many times. And they destroyed everything, in our house, everything. We are very hungry. They killed us. They destroyed everything. We just want the army to pass so that we are able to get out.”
Sajeda Jeboury, the Hamam al-Alil camp manager, said: “The areas on the eastern coast, the houses crowded with large numbers of residents, old houses, the intensity of the fighting – the intensity of the fighting led people to flee entire regions, not just people from a limited area.”
“Of course, one of the biggest problems we are facing is the issue of health. We don’t have a division or a fully functional hospital that would be able to contain such large numbers. We have injuries, chronic diseases, cancer cases, disabled people, and senior citizens. So, health services are very, very weak. This is the biggest crisis we are facing right now,” the manager continued.