World Bulletin / News Desk
“This convoy is the first batch of humanitarian aid that Turkey will send to civilians who may be affected” by the offensive in Mosul, Turkish Consul-General Mehmet Akif Inam said in statements on Tuesday.
The 20-truck convoy, which includes 527 tons of aid, was sent by the Turkish Red Crescent agency to be distributed among displaced Iraqis in their camps in Erbil.
Inam said Turkey has been sending aid to the area since Mosul was captured by ISIL militants in 2014.
“Turkey seeks to ease the burden, even to some degree, for the administration of the [Kurdish] region,” the diplomat said, thanking the city’s mayor and officials for their cooperation with the Turkish side.
Erbil mayor Nevzat Hadi, for his part, underlined the importance of the Turkish aid in preventing the outbreak of a humanitarian crisis in the area.
He warned that thousands of people might flee to the Kurdish region if the ongoing anti-ISIL offensive in Mosul went wrong.
Hadi said refugee camps in Al-Khazir area, some 40 kilometers east of Mosul, can accommodate, in the first phase, about 100,000 people.
ISIL’s last stronghold in northern Iraq, Mosul -- Iraq’s second largest city -- was overrun by the extremist group in mid-2014.