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More than 1 million Iraqis could be displaced by the Mosul offensive

Refugee camps are struggling to make room

by Hind Hassan
Nov 1 2016, 8:04am

This segment originally aired Oct. 25, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Thousands of Iraqis have been displaced since the battle for Mosul began. Some were caught in the crossfire, while others suffered starvation after roads were blocked by the offensive. Traveling to the nearest refugee camp can take hours or even days. Aid organizations warn that more than 1 million people could ultimately be displaced by the conflict.

Mosul has been under ISIS control for the past two years and is considered the terrorist group’s biggest stronghold in Iraq. Iraqi and Kurdish troops, alongside a U.S.-led coalition, began an offensive to remove ISIS from the city more than two weeks ago.

“We are trying to catch up with the wave of the new arrivals,” Debaga Camp Deputy Manager Sadiq Muhammed told VICE News correspondent Hind Hassan. “Our main challenge and problem is the space.”

Officials are concerned that ISIS fighters may be concealing themselves among the civilians. As a result, displaced Iraqis are separated from their families and subjected to screenings meant to identify any connections to militants before they enter the camp.

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