The UN has sounded the alarm over the dire humanitarian situation and terrorist atrocities being endured by the residents of Mosul, Iraq, who have been cut off from water by fighting and threatened with death by ISIS militants if they flee.
The situation in eastern Mosul city close to the front lines remains fraught with danger for civilians. Mortar and gunfire continue to claim lives. The limited supplies of food and water are running out, amid concerning reports of food insecurity emerging from the city,” the UN humanitarian coordinator’s office said on Wednesday.
As many as 650,000 people, or some 40 percent of the city’s population, had their water supplies cut when a pipeline was destroyed in the fighting, an Iraqi official told Reuters. Food has been running low as well.
A major offensive led by the Iraqi army has been in progress for six weeks, aiming to drive ISIS militants out of the city’s eastern districts.
Meanwhile, ISIS is reportedly using brutal public executions to deter desperate civilians from fleeing the warzone.
“We continue to receive reports of serious breaches of international human rights and international humanitarian law by ISIL in and around Mosul,” Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said during a press briefing in Geneva on Wednesday.
SIS militants publically executed 27 civilians in Mosul’s Muhandiseen Park last week, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore said. Residents are reportedly being executed if they are suspected of collaborating with the Iraqi army.
Civilians that don’t give terrorists permission to install rocket launchers or place snipers on the rooftops of their houses are either “threatened or killed,” Shamdasani said.
“On 11 November, ISIS reportedly shot and killed 12 civilians in Bakir neighborhood in eastern Mosul city for allegedly refusing to allow ISIS to install and launch rockets from the rooftops of their houses,” the spokesperson said.
There have also been reports that the terrorists have abducted hundreds of people suspected of leaking information to Iraqi Security Forces and moved them to another location. Their fate remains unknown.