Jacket belonging to an Iraqi Army uniform lies on the ground in some 10km of east of Mosul. (AFP/File)

WFP distributes food to northern Iraqi town of Qayyarah strangled by siege

Desperately needed food supplies for more than 30,000 people have been delivered to the northern Iraqi town of Qayyarah, which was recaptured from Islamic State earlier last month, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The people of Qayyarah had been living under siege for two years and are suffering extreme hunger with scarce access to food supplies. Reaching them with life-saving food assistance is a very positive step forward," said Sally Haydock, the WFP's country director for Iraq.
The UN aid group provided the residents of Qayyarah with food supplies to last one full month.
It said the town is currently in a dire state, with black smoke rising from surrounding oil fields set ablaze during fighting in recent weeks. Safe drinking water, electricity and medical services remain nearly impossible to access.
On August 25, Iraqi troops backed by US-led air forces recaptured Qayyarah from Daesh. The town is home to a major oil field and is situated 60 kilometres south of the extremist group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
Haydock said the food delivery was made possible "[t]hanks to a generous contribution from the Government of Germany" and added that the aid was also helping "to provide more food assistance to families who are being displaced from the greater Mosul city."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly vowed to liberate Mosul, the country's second-largest city, from the extremists.
Qayyara is to become the launch pad for the retaking of Mosul, which has been under Daesh control since mid-2014.