Main Navigation

Mosul: Humanitarian crisis looms

As the battle for Mosul intensifies, up to a million people may be forced to flee the Iraqi city.

Tuesday October 18, 2016

Mosul civilians
Iraqi Red Crescent teams have been providing food and relief supplies to people fleeing conflict in Mosul and surrounding areas. Photo: IFRC/Ibrahim Malla

As fighting intensifies in and around the Iraqi city of Mosul, Red Cross calls on all those involved to protect civilians and health care facilities.  

Warning that up to a million people may be forced to flee for safety, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams are ready to help with food, clean water, medicines and other essential items.  

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has also called on all those involved in the conflict to do everything they can to avoid injury to civilians and civilian infrastructure. In particular, health care facilities and workers need to be protected.  

Under international humanitarian law, all parties to the conflict must do their utmost to spare and protect civilians and persons who no longer participate in hostilities, such as detainees. They must do their utmost to verify that targets are indeed military objects.  

Safe passage should be provided for those who wish to leave the area. Explosive weapons with a wide impact area should be avoided in densely populated areas.  

Learn more about the laws of war