Dozens of Iraqis were killed and scores wounded in northern Iraq during clashes between US military and their opponents in the town of Talafar, west of Mosul.
Intense fighting and bombardment began on 9 September, killing up to 60 people and wounding around 40. Local doctors report that most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children.
The attacks provoked strong protests from Turkey, as the majority of Talafar’s 300,000 citizens are ethnic Turkmen.
Talafar was placed under siege, and all movement of goods and people was severely restricted, making humanitarian work almost impossible. Fierce battles raged for hours, with heavy bombardment in residential areas.
As troops poured into the town, up to 100,000 people fled the violence. Many families including women, children and the elderly were forced to escape on foot, heading for nearby villages or open ground away from the town.
Over 1,000 families set up a makeshift camp in the neighbouring village of Al Mahalabiya, 20km outside Talafar. The Turkish Red Crescent provided tents for the displaced townspeople, but other basic necessities such as food and water were in short supply.
IR distributed emergency relief items to more than 4200 displaced people
Islamic Relief Response
The day after fighting erupted, an Islamic Relief assessment team travelled from Baghdad to Talafar, and met local authorities in the town. A second team, accompanied by Dr Al-Tahan, manager of Talafar public hospital, was then despatched to the town, but encountered difficulties getting through the coalition checkpoint.
Finally, after negotiating entry into Talafar, the team were able to distribute medical relief for the local hospital, and food and other supplies for around 4250 displaced people in Al Mahalabiya.
Humanitarian aid included:
- medicine & medical supplies – including syringes, surgical equipment, hygiene kits and bandages
- food – Bread and canned food including meat, beans, and tuna fish
- bottled water – 12 bottles of drinking water per family
- hygiene kits – for over 4000 people
As violence continues to affect the lives of ordinary people in Iraq, Islamic Relief’s Baghdad office remains committed to delivering humanitarian aid to those in need.