LEEDS — The number of Iraqi civilians who have been forced to flee the western parts of Mosul since the start of the military operation against the Islamic State (IS) has increased to 526,000, the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration said on Friday.
The Minister of Displacement and Migration, Jassem Mohamed Al-Jaf, said the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq reached 526,233 people, most of whom have sought refuge in government-run camps in the city's southern, western and eastern quarters, areas held by the army, Kuwait News Agency reported.
In addition, Jaf said that the ministry has opened special centres for registration of the ones who return to the secure places of Mosul, which to this point are around 176,000 people. However, the military operations against the extremist group in western Mosul continues, as the Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition are advancing towards the remaining IS-held districts.
The Iraqi government launched an operation for liberating the northern city of Mosul back in October 2016. By the beginning of this year, the Iraqi forces managed to liberate the entire eastern part of the city, and move on to liberating the remaining western parts.