Teams from southern Iraq continue relief operations for displaced Mosul
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    Teams from southern Iraq continue relief operations for displaced Mosul

    Teams from southern Iraq continue relief operations for displaced Mosul

    2017/04/04 (00:01 PM) - Number of readings: 76 - Number (3893)

    Translation range

    Air strikes may have killed a number of civilians during the fighting and caused collateral damage, but there is also compassion and mercy amid the fighting.
    Once again, the black clouds cleared and Yusuf Abboud and Tariq Abbas were able to fill their stomachs with hot food for tired travelers in a bus stand outside Mosul.
    The rain turned the land into a muddy swamp, creating another obstacle for civilians fleeing the besieged city.

    On 17 March, an air strike by the International Coalition on the new Mosul neighborhood led to the collapse of buildings on the heads of a large number of civilians. These are the dangers of war in the densely populated areas of western Mosul.

    Hundreds of families flee Mosul every day and travel for several miles before being picked up by army trucks to take them to a nearby village. Trucks are full of rice and beans. The soldiers then guide families to buses that take them to IDP camps.

    They are old men with white beards who cover their heads and wear the beige uniform but are not fighters. They are members of the Civil Committee in Diwaniyah, a voluntary organization that came to Mosul to help its civilians.

    "Mr. Sistani has invited us to help the Sunnis, so we are doing what we are told," Yusuf said. Based on donations from Diwaniyah residents, 22 volunteers came to provide two meals of food for the civilians and the soldiers. They work tirelessly to prepare and distribute food on the Baghdad-Mosul road.

    These efforts by Shia volunteers contradict the common claim that Iraq is sectarian. When insurgents pushed the border from Syria to Iraq in 2014, they took advantage of Sunni resentment caused by the policy of discrimination followed by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

    After the group attracted its Sunni recruits in Iraq and abroad, its sectarian hatred was manifested through the brutal murder of 1,700 army recruits at Camp Speicher. In response, the Shiite factions, which are fighting Da'ash, killed, tortured and kidnapped Sunni civilians during the conflict.

    Yusuf and Tariq suffered from the sectarian civil war that followed 2003, and they also suffered from the marginalization of Iraq's Shiites under Saddam's dictatorship. But in Mosul, Shiite charities are providing assistance to people in the west of the city. Their trucks are the only civilian vehicles seen by people in western liberated areas of Mosul, bringing food to soldiers and civilians still in their homes.

    Shiite organizations are not a new phenomenon in Iraq, Yusuf says. "We do it everywhere; in Baiji, Ramadi and Falluja." The work of the volunteers is very important. The supplies have not reached the west of Mosul since its siege and the food is fading, and the people who remained in the city depend on what others bring to them.

    Government officials do not have civilians and international aid agencies within the city, so volunteers and soldiers have to provide lifeline for the people.

    Apart from Islamic committees and aid - a charity that provides some supplies - the Iraqi army does its best to help. Soldiers usually cut off what they can from their rations to feed the people. Military supply wheels leave the city empty of any bread.

    In the aviation district near Mosul airport, Mohammed Qassem and his wife are struggling to cover the family's expenses.

    In 2014, a women's fashion shop was opened, but armed men forced him to close. He then moved to work as a taxi driver, but the gunmen took his car to block the Iraqi forces' advance.

    The car was destroyed and he was unable to accumulate food before the siege. In providing food. "The federal police give us food and water. If we leave the police for two days we will die of hunger," he said.

    "We offer civilians food and other kinds of help," said Corporal Hussein Abdel Khader of the federal police. Lack of food is not the only thing that makes life difficult in western Mosul, there is an urgent need for medical care.

    There is an advanced medical clinic where American volunteers work but they are not enough. "They are hungry and their bodies are dry and hard," says nurse Solsa. "Aid does not enter the area until we give them our food, although it is not enough."

    In addition to the dignified Diwaniya men, there are also local tribes whose men stand on the road to feed the fugitives from Mosul. Sheikh Hassan Akoub al-Marir - from Qayara - is watching his clan's men delivering water, juices and food to families who have been removed from trucks.

    "Every one gives according to his ability, and other local tribes, like the most powerful Jabour clan, came to help the people of Medina in the hour of ordeal," he said.

    عنAbout: Daily Best

    Last edited by MadDScout; 04-04-2017 at 01:53 PM.

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