Jihadists near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have forced 1,500 families to retreat alongside them as militants are pushed out by a joint US-backed offensive. Aid organizations say they are concerned by the "significant humanitarian consequences" of the military operation.
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists forced civilians to accompany them as they retreated from the town of Hammam al-Alil towards Mosul airport, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani announced Tuesday.
Along with 1,500 families, IS kidnapped 295 former members of the Iraqi Security Forces.
"People forcibly moved or abducted, it appears, are either intended to be used as human shields or – depending on their perceived affiliations – killed," the UN official said, as cited by Reuters.
With more than a million people believed to be trapped in the Mosul area, humanitarian organizations have warned that the US-led operation to retake the city could lead to dire consequences for civilians.