The battle in Iraq to take back Mosul from the hands of ISIS has left many seeking refuge outside of the city, but has also trapped many inside.

 

On March the 17th, 200 civilians were killed in a US-backed airstrike in the Iraqi city.

 

It is the largest number of fatalities of a US airstrike in years, although many claim those who ordered the airstrike did not know that there were civilians present.

 

Yet as the battle continues, the end doesn’t seem to be in sight for those left inside of Mosul.

 

Mark Nicholson, the media relations officer for Shelterbox, a charity that looks to provide emergency shelter for those effected by conflict, said: “The military action is ongoing, and it is not possible to forecast when coalition forces may be able to reclaim the city.

 

“There is concern for the hundreds of thousands who remain in west Mosul. The UN says that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians.

 

“At least 1,494 have been killed and 1,219 injured across the Nineveh province since October.”

 

Whilst the number of people fleeing Mosul is constant, it is not as many as expected by many.

 

Robert Cole, the global head of communications at the London based AMAR, a charity that provides emergency aid, healthcare and education in the Middle East, said: “That’s the reason we haven’t seen 2 million refugees streaming out yet.

 

“It’s simply because they can’t all get out, the war has trapped hundreds of thousands of people in there.”

 

Mosul remains too dangerous for charities and aid workers to become directly involved within the city, yet both Shelterbox and AMAR have started work in the surrounding areas.

 

Shelterbox have set up flexible partnerships in the region to help those fleeing the conflict, while AMAR are working in camps on the outskirts of Mosul to ensure there is medical aid available to those that make it out of the city.

 

Although there are support networks in place, it hasn’t provided safety for those still in Mosul.

 

“Short term the situation has got worse, but it had to be done as it couldn’t be left as it was,” said Robert Cole

 

“The British and Americans are caught between a rock and a hard place.

 

“I think it is a necessary step, no one could believe the best thing to do would be to leave it alone and let ISIS murder massive numbers of people.”