Save the Children recently published a press release drawing attention to the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the ongoing Mosul crisis in Syria. Thousands of people have so far abandoned areas around Hawija as Iraqi and coalition forces fight to clear IS-held territory on the route to Mosul, according to the press release. In the coming days, Save the Children expects approximately 90,000 to flee Hawija as the offensive escalates.

Children are tragically dying of thirst or being killed from various types of improvised landmines as families desperately try to escape conflict on the road to Mosul. Aid workers in Hayakal, south of the town of Hawija, are reporting accounts of severe dehydration in children arriving barefoot from a 36-hour trek to safety through territory covered with IEDs.

“This is just the start and we fear it is going to get much worse. The conditions for people fleeing Hawija are an early warning sign of what will happen when far greater numbers are flee Mosul itself,” said Patricia Erb, CEO & President of Save the Children Canada.

“Participants in the military operation must ensure that families have safe routes to escape active areas of conflict and get food, water and shelter. At the moment families are forced to risk their lives whether they stay or flee.”

Please click here to read the complete press release from Save the Children.