New York, August 23: More than 30,000 of innocent civilians are trapped in Tal Afar, a city in which Iraqi forces are fighting to take back from the Islamic State terrorist group. Notably, IS terrorist groups are using these civilians as human shield to safeguard themselves.
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric while addressing a media on Tuesday said that some 30,000 civilians are trapped in fighting in Tal Afar, a city Iraqi where forces are working to take back from the Islamic State terrorist group.
Dujarric further said The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) fears Iraqi civilians “are likely to be used as human shields” and that “attempts to flee could result in executions and shootings.” UNHCR “calls on all parties to the conflict to allow civilians to leave the conflict area and to allow access to safety,” Dujarric added.
He also noted that humanitarian assistance is being provided at all the assembly points of south and east of Tal Afar town, with more than 300 people have passed through these points are receiving assistance till now. Earlier, on Monday the UN said it expected thousands of civilians to flee the area in the days and weeks to come.
However, Iraqi forces who are battling hard against IS on Tuesday recaptured the first three districts of jihadist bastion Tal Afar. More than a month after Iraq’s second city Mosul was recaptured from IS, troops launched an offensive Sunday to take back Tal Afar, situated 70 kilometers further west. The Iraqi forces are backed by a US-led international coalition carrying out a campaign of air strikes against IS.