Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that the operation for retaking the city back from ISIS has been launched.
Speking on state TV, Haider al-Abadi stated that the
operation is launched and only military and police forces will be
allowed to enter the city.
"Act in solidarity with the security forces"
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged the locals of Mosul to act in solidarity with the security forces.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs declared that they have launched a simultaneous operation in Hazir Front and Guwer and Geyyara fronts.
In a written statement, the ministry declared that Peshmerga forces have taken action in Hazir Front on the east and Iraqi army in Guwer and Geyyar on the north, starting from 4.00 am this morning.
Turkey is not involved
Former Governor of Nineveh and the head of Nineveh Guards, Atheel al-Nujaifi stated that Sunnite forces trained by Turkish soldiers are involved in the operation.
However, Turkish soldiers are not directly involved in the operation.
The US: We are proud
Brett McGurk, US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISID, made a supporting statement via his Twitter account: "Tonight, PM Abadi issued orders to initiate major operations to liberate Mosul after two years of darkness under ISIL terrorists.”
He also added: “Godspeed to the heroic Iraqi forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Ninewa volunteers. We are proud to stand with you in this historic operation.”
UN: We should be prepared for the worst-case scenario
Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, released a statement after the declaration of operation. He stated: "I am extremely concerned for the safety of up to 1.5 million people living in Mosul who may be impacted by military operations to retake the city from ISIL."
O'Brien, in a written statement, said that this operation for retaking the city from ISIS puts people "at extreme risk of being caught in cross-fire or targeted by snipers."
Pointing out that tens of thousands of Iraqi people are at the risk of being held as human shields, O'Brien stated: "Depending on the intensity and scope of the fighting, as many as one million people may be forced to flee their homes in a worst-case scenario."
O'Brien urged the all parties to the conflict "to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and ensure they have access to the assistance they are entitled to and deserve. Nothing is more important.”
According to the statement, a shelter is available for 60,000 people in camps and emergency sites and "food rations for 220,000 families are ready for distribution. 143,000 sets of emergency household items are in stock; latrines and showers are being readied for dispatch and 240 tonnes of medication are available at distribution points."
O'Brien concluded his statement as the following: "Despite generous contributions from donor countries, funding has been insufficient to prepare fully for the worst-case scenario. With the resources available, humanitarian partners have done their best to prepare as efficiently as possible. Working under some of the most difficult and insecure conditions in the world, humanitarian partners will be doing everything possible to help as many people as possible in the days and weeks ahead."