The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned yesterday that 100,000 children in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul are at risk as fighting between government forces and Daesh intensifies.
"Children's lives are on the line. Children are being killed, injured and used as human shields. Children are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness. In some cases, they have been forced to participate in the fighting and violence," UNICEF's representative in Iraq, Peter Hawkins, said in a statement.
The statement added that 100,000 children still remain in areas under Daesh control in western Mosul amid fighting that is "intensifying by the hour".
The UN official called on the warring parties to "protect the children and keep them out of harm's way at all times, in line with their obligations under humanitarian law".
Meanwhile, the head of civil society organisations in Mosul, Iman Al-Jubouri, said that Daesh intentionally detains civilians and uses them as human shields in areas that remained under its control West of Mosul.
The Iraqi forces began a military campaign in October 2016 to retake the city of Mosul from the terrorist group. The forces announced in January that the eastern half of Mosul has been liberated while fighting continues to retake the western part.