Helping Mosul residents as they flee for their lives

Strategic Updates
  • Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) and the 9th Iraqi Army Division are slowly advancing through eastern Mosul, neighborhood by neighborhood.
  • ISIS fighters are putting up fierce resistance, relying heavily on snipers and suicide bombers that utilize their vast underground tunnel network to hit Iraqi soldiers from all directions.
  • Iraqi forces south of the city are about to advance toward Mosul airport in an effort to ramp up the pressure on ISIS defenders.
  • More than 50,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the operation. The majority of them have taken refuge in the southern camps of Qayyarah-Jadah and Khazer, as well as the Hasansham and Zelikan camps to the east.
  • Residents still in the city continue to face ISIS atrocities, a deadly crossfire, and lack of food, water, and electricity.

A Stronghold of Evil

For ISIS, Mosul is the last major stronghold in Iraq. For the Iraqi government and coalition forces, the populated city represents the final push to liberate the country from a feared terrorist organization. But to the people of Mosul, the city is their home. For over two years, the civilians still residing in the city have endured unspeakable evil.

ISIS atrocities committed against the residents of Mosul are escalating as Iraqi forces make progress. Reports indicate that hundreds of civilians have been electrocuted, shot, dragged behind vehicles, or crucified by ISIS fighters. In recent cases, ISIS reportedly allowed civilians to head towards safety—carrying white flags—only to gun them down right before they reached friendly Iraqi forces.

Caught between ISIS and the coalition’s military offensive, the people of Mosul are either staying in place to avoid being killed in the crossfire, or taking the risk of fleeing. Those that manage to flee the city and make it to safety are often starving, thirsty, and exhausted, with only the clothes on their back.

We pray that God uses Samaritan’s Purse in a mighty way to show His love and mercy to these people who are fleeing evil and desperately need relief.

Having pre-positioned supplies ahead of time, our staff are able to quickly distribute emergency aid to displaced families that are arriving in greater numbers each day. Samaritan’s Purse has already assisted several thousand people, and our teams are prepared to feed up to 150,000 in the coming months.


On The Frontlines

Samaritan’s Purse is on the frontlines of what could very possibly be the largest humanitarian crisis of 2016. The international community has assigned us the responsibility to serve a cluster of several camps and villages east of Mosul—precisely where the first refugees from inside Mosul are currently heading.

As a preferred partner for the World Food Programme (WFP) in this response, Samaritan’s Purse has been supplied enough food from WFP to feed up to 150,000 people that could settle in our area of intervention over the coming weeks and months. Our staff are also distributing water, shoes, blankets, and hygiene kits.

Some displaced families are already returning to their villages and towns that ISIS occupied just weeks before. In these locations, the returnees have little to no supplies and we have been asked to provide assistance. Samaritan’s Purse staff are providing heavy-duty tarps to help protect damaged homes, as well as distributing blankets, kerosene stoves, fuel containers, and emergency food rations.

In two of the villages, where approximately 50 families returned, we were the first organization to provide relief. These people are Kakai, a Kurdish ethnic group that practices a mystical and monotheistic religion that began in 14th century Iran. Although our main response is to provide emergency food to families in displacement camps, we will also continue to provide assistance to those returning home.

Women wait in line during a food distribution at a displacement camp. Partnering with World Food Programme, Samaritan’s Purse will distribute food for 150,000 displaced people in our area of intervention.

A Great Need

As many as one million people could flee Mosul, depending on the military situation over the coming months. Despite the efforts of the United Nations, the Iraqi government, and many NGOs, there is still a significant need for more camps and relief supplies as the numbers of displaced families increase daily. “This is going to be a very large-scale catastrophe,” said Matthew Nowery, who directs our work in Iraq. “A huge number of people will be moving into a system that’s already stretched.”

To increase our capacity to respond to the overwhelming need, we are looking into the possibility of airlifting supplies into Iraq—although this option requires explicit permission from the Iraqi government. If approved, we will be able to significantly increase our response.

In the meantime, we continue to work with the UN, World Food Programme, and NGOs to provide compassion and much-needed aid for those who are able to escape the brutal oppression of ISIS. Please continue to pray that God uses us during this large-scale humanitarian crisis to bring the light of the Gospel to a very dark situation.

How To Help
  • For God’s protection over our soldiers, the Iraqi military, the Peshmerga army, and other coalition forces that are involved in the military offensive.
  • That civilian casualties will be lower than expected, and that displaced families find refuge.
  • For Samaritan’s Purse staff as we respond to the large numbers of people expected to be displaced.
  • Donate on this web page or by calling
    1-800-663-6500 to help fleeing Mosul residents and support our other relief projects in the Middle East.
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