UN chief urges help to displaced people in Iraq
Updated: 2014-08-08 09:29
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar west of Mosul, take refuge at Dohuk province, August 7, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said on Thursday he was "appalled" by recent attacks on minority groups in northern Iraq, calling for international assistance to the affected population.
"The secretary-general is deeply appalled at today's reports of attacks by the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in Kirkuk, and Qaraqosh, and earlier attacks in Tal Afar and Sinjar district affecting mainly the vulnerable communities of Christians, Turkomen, and Yezidis," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson.
Over the recent days, IS (often known by its old name ISIL) militants have stormed several towns in the northern part of Iraq in its advances in various parts of the country. Thousands of civilians are trapped in the Sinjar mountains where they took shelter and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance after fleeing attacks by the armed group, according to the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA).
UN agencies and partners are providing displaced people with emergency assistance including food, water, health care and basic household items.
In the statement, the UN chief welcomed the successful humanitarian airdrop that has taken place so far but expressed his continuing and deep concern for the safety of those civilians.
"The Secretary-General calls on the international community, especially those with the influence and resources to positively impact the situation, to support the government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq," the statement said.