Middle East

UN: Mosul displacement rates highest since operation began

  • Families flee clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State group militants in western Mosul on Thursday, March 2, 2017. The United Nations announced that displacement rates over the past week have been the highest since the operation began in October with 28,400 people displaced from Mosul's west since the push to retake it Began last month. (AP Photo/Susannah George)

    Families flee clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State group militants in western Mosul on Thursday, March 2, 2017. The United Nations announced that displacement rates over the past week have been the highest since the operation began in October with 28,400 people displaced from Mosul's west since the push to retake it Began last month. (AP Photo/Susannah George)  (The Associated Press)

  • Families walk past an Islamic State sign while fleeing clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State group militants in western Mosul, Thursday, March 2, 2017. The United Nations says over 28,000 people have fled the city since the operation to retake its remaining militant-held western districts was launched last month. (AP Photo/Susannah George)

    Families walk past an Islamic State sign while fleeing clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State group militants in western Mosul, Thursday, March 2, 2017. The United Nations says over 28,000 people have fled the city since the operation to retake its remaining militant-held western districts was launched last month. (AP Photo/Susannah George)  (The Associated Press)

  • Displaced Iraqis, who fled fighting between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants, line up to receive  food, at a camp for internally displaced people, in Hamam al-Alil, some 10 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

    Displaced Iraqis, who fled fighting between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants, line up to receive food, at a camp for internally displaced people, in Hamam al-Alil, some 10 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations says the fight for Mosul in Iraq is causing higher numbers of displaced people than previously seen in the 4 ½-month-long operation.

The U.N. says in a statement that 28,400 people have been forced from their homes since the operation began more than a week ago.

The statement released Wednesday adds that since Feb. 25, some 4,000 people have fled the city each day.

The push to retake western Mosul began last msonth after the eastern half of the city was declared "fully liberated" in January. The operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group was formally launched in October.

The offensive came after the militants were pushed out of most of the territory they controlled in Iraq after overrunning the north and west in the summer of 2014.