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Thousands of Iraqis Seek Shelter in Syrian Kurdish Camp After Fleeing Mosul

© AP Photo / Karim KadimIraqi women bake bread at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015
Iraqi women bake bread at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
Around 15,000 Iraqis have arrived in Syrian Kurdish territories after escaping the Mosul offensive, an official of the Federation of Northern Syria, a de facto Kurdish autonomy, told Sputnik.

A fighter from the Kurdish People Protection Unit (YPG) poses for a photo at sunset in the Syrian town of Ain Issi, some 50 kilometres north of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State (IS) group during clashes between IS group jihadists and YPG fighters on July 10, 2015 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Kurdish autonomy is hosting roughly 500,000 displaced Syrians and Iraqi refugees, he said. They urgently need food, clothes and medicine.

"Some 15,000 refugees have come to us. A new camp has been built for them in the town of al-Hawl on the Syrian border with Iraq," Rodi Osman, the federation’s representative to Russia, said.

Troops loyal to the Iraqi government launched an offensive last October to retake the key stronghold from Islamists. They captured the eastern part of Mosul this January and are pushing into more populated western districts.

The UN estimates 180,000 civilians have escaped western Mosul since mid-February, with up to 320,000 more expected to flee in coming weeks, as government forces advance into the Old City.

According to the International Organization for Migration, fierce fighting has pushed a total of 300,000 people out of Mosul since the operation began.

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