Oxfam calls for the protection of civilians as the Tal Afar offensive begins

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Responding to today’s announcement by the government of Iraq that they have launched a major push to retake the city of Tal Afar from ISIS, Oxfam’s deputy country director in Iraq, Haissam Minkara shared the following statement.

"Traumatised families who have risked their lives to escape the fighting in Tal Afar face soaring summer temperatures and harsh conditions as they seek help. Whilst most families are being taken to existing camps, thousands are also sheltering in remote villages or informal settlements in the desert where temperatures reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. People urgently need a safe place to sleep, food and clean drinking water.

"The government of Iraq must ensure that all troops involved in the offensive uphold the Prime Minister’s commitment to put civilian protection at the heart of their military operations and allow all civilians to reach safety and assistance without discrimination.

"Oxfam also calls on all parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to avoid harming civilians that stay in the city and protect civilian areas and infrastructure – including avoiding the use of explosive weapons with wide area affect."

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Note to editors
Oxfam is supporting the displaced populations with life-saving food and water both in camps and in communities that have been recently retaken and where families are seeking shelter.

 

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