UN / MOSUL LISE GRANDE

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ENGLISH 11-Jan-2017 00:02:41
The United Nations humanitarian chief in Iraq said the possibility of a siege in the western Mosul was “very real” adding this would have “enormous implications” on the 750,000 civilians living that that part of the city under ISIL control. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / MOSUL LISE GRANDE
TRT: 02:45
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 JANUARY 2017, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

RECENT - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

11 JANUARY 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“Mosul represents probably one of the largest urban battles that will have taken place since World War II.”
4. Med shot, reporter asking question
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“What the Iraqi security forces have done is to say that central to everything they are trying to do in Mosul militarily is to protect civilians. Very often member states in the United Nations say we are going to do everything possible to uphold international humanitarian law. What we are seeing in the case of Iraq is that the Iraqi security forces aren’t just talking about this, they literally developed a humanitarian con-op (concept of operation) and they said this is the centrepiece of our entire battle plan.”
6. Med shot, reporter asking question
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“Depending on what happens in the west, siege is a very real possibility. We don’t know if that will happen, but we are worried that it might. A siege of 750,000 people would have absolutely enormous implications.”
8. Wide shot, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“We know that Da’esh (ISIL) is the priority for the coalition and for the Iraqi government right now, but as soon as Da’esh is defeated, there are a lot of people who are in trouble, out of their homes, that need to get back to start rebuilding their lives. If they don’t, the conditions which lead to the rise of ISIL will continue to be there.”
10. Zoom in, reporter asking question

11. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“What the victims are saying to us is ‘we are being directly shot by ISIL. They are shooting at us. It’s not crossfire. It’s not collateral damage. It’s direct targeting.’ Now do we know what percentage of the casualties as caused by that? We don’t, but our understanding is that it’s extremely high.”
12. Wide shot, press room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“We know that there are a significant number of families that are already food insecure, that have lost their assets, they were poor maybe already, maybe they haven’t horded sufficiently; they are in trouble. There are very credible reports of families who have already cut down to one meal a day, the most destitute families are down to a meal every couple of days.”
14. Med shot, reporter asking question
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, United Nations:
“Anyone who says that a catastrophic outburst of the dam would be biblical, they are correct. The scenarios are such that you could have as many as 20 million people that would be impacted.”
16. Wide shot, press room

STORYLINE:

The United Nations humanitarian chief in Iraq said the possibility of a siege in the western Mosul was “very real” adding this would have “enormous implications” on the 750,000 civilians living that that part of the city under ISIL control.

Speaking to reporters today (11 Jan) via teleconference from Erbil, Lise Grande said the current operation to liberate the city from the grip of the terrorist organization probably represented “one of the largest urban battles that will have taken place since World War II.” She said the majority of military activities in the city had taken place in the east with the government retaking some 80% of that area. Grande expected the offensive to retake the more populated western part of the city to “begin shortly” estimating that the operation would begin within a few weeks.

Grande stressed that the “humanitarian concept of operation” taken by the Iraqi security forces in the battle for Mosul was commendable. She said that this policy has slowed military progress adding that if there was disregard for human life, advancement would be much faster. Still, Grande pointed out that civilians trapped in Mosul were at extreme risk as some 47 percent of casualties from the beginning of the operation were in fact civilians. She said ISIL (Da’esh) was directly targeting civilians trying to flee the violence or gather supplies for their families and using them as human shields.

The humanitarian coordinator said western Mosul was already under “siege-like” conditions as electricity and water supplies were intermittent and food prices were “skyrocketing” since early December. She said four out of five bridges connecting the two sides of the city had already been taken out by Iraqi security forces and the international coalition a while back, leaving one bridge for civilian movement. She said the UN was trying to get as much supplies into western Mosul in anticipation of a full siege adding that there was no agreement at this point with the coalition and the government on steps that could be taken to get supplies into the area if this scenario presents itself.

Asked about reports of the Mosul dam possibly failing, Grande described the condition of the dam as “unpredictable”. She said the coalition and Iraqi government had taken steps in the past year to stabilize the dam and a specialized Italian company was doing work to this effect. She said, “Anyone who says that a catastrophic outburst of the dam would be biblical, they are correct” adding that the scenarios were “such that you could have as many as 20 million people that would be impacted.”

Grande said that while ISIL was the priority for the coalition and Iraqi government right now, many people were “in trouble, out of their homes, that need to get back to start rebuilding their lives; if they don’t, the conditions which lead to the rise of ISIL will continue to be there.” She said the emergency operation to support those displaced in the country was the first stage, while the second stage which was to return those citizens to their homes was “far more complicated and expensive.”
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unifeed170111d
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