Channels

Photo: Reuters
The Iraqi city of Mosul and surrounding area, under attack by ISIS and Iraqi and Kurdish forces
Photo: Reuters
UN preparing for possible chemical attack in Iraq's Mosul
As US-led Iraqi and Kurdish troops come ever closer Mosul, 90 UN medical professional have been trained to respond to a possible chemical attack response by ISIS; WHO says that of the 700,000 people expected to flee city, some 200,000 will require emergency health services.

The UN's public health agency said Thursday it has trained 90 Iraqi medics in "mass casualty management," with a special focus on chemical attacks, as part of its preparations for Iraq's operation to retake Mosul from ISIS.

 

 

The extremist group, which has ruled Iraq's second largest city for more than two years, is believed to have crude chemical weapons capabilities, and Iraqi forces say they are prepared to encounter them on the battlefield.

 

The Iraqi city of Mosul and surrounding area, under attack by ISIS and Iraqi and Kurdish forces (Photo: Reuters)
The Iraqi city of Mosul and surrounding area, under attack by ISIS and Iraqi and Kurdish forces (Photo: Reuters)

 

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that of the 700,000 people expected to flee Mosul, some 200,000 will require emergency health services, including more than 90,000 children needing vaccinations and 8,000 pregnant women.

 

The operation to retake Mosul began Oct. 17 and is expected to take weeks, if not months. The International Organization for Migration says around 9,000 people have fled so far.

 

The fighting has not yet reached the city itself, which is home to more than a million people.

 

ISIS militants marching (Photo: Reuters)
ISIS militants marching (Photo: Reuters)

 

The United Nations' refugee agency is shipping tents, blankets and other aid from the United Arab Emirates to northern Iraq to help those affected by the military campaign. The UNHCR shipment, which left Dubai's International Humanitarian City on Thursday, is expected to reach those affected as soon as Friday.

 

The trail of destruction in Mosul (Photo: Reuters)
The trail of destruction in Mosul (Photo: Reuters)

 

Soliman Mohamed Daud, a senior UNHCR supply officer, said that 7,000 units of the relief aid will be sent to northern Iraq. The UAE shipment that left Thursday includes some 1,500 kits.

 

Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by US advisers and airstrikes, began the operation to retake Iraq's second-largest city earlier this month. Aid groups fear that a mass exodus from Mosul could overwhelm camps for displaced people set up around its outskirts.

 

 new comment
See all talkbacks "UN preparing for possible chemical attack in Iraq's Mosul"
Warning:
This will delete your current comment