GLOBAL ECONOMY

UN Secretary General starts official visit to Iraq

  • Iraqi security forces and civilians inspect the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing in southern Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 30, 2017. The truck bomb targeted a police checkpoint in southern Baghdad on Wednesday night, killing and wounding scores according to Iraqi officials. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the bombing had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has tried to stage large-scale attacks over the past weeks to detract Iraqi authorities from the battle for IS-held western Mosul. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

    Iraqi security forces and civilians inspect the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing in southern Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 30, 2017. The truck bomb targeted a police checkpoint in southern Baghdad on Wednesday night, killing and wounding scores according to Iraqi officials. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the bombing had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has tried to stage large-scale attacks over the past weeks to detract Iraqi authorities from the battle for IS-held western Mosul. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)  (The Associated Press)

  • Civilians inspect the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing in southern Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 30, 2017. The truck bomb targeted a police checkpoint on Wednesday night, killing and wounding scores according to Iraqi officials. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the bombing had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has tried to stage large-scale attacks over the past weeks to detract Iraqi authorities from the battle for IS-held western Mosul. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

    Civilians inspect the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing in southern Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 30, 2017. The truck bomb targeted a police checkpoint on Wednesday night, killing and wounding scores according to Iraqi officials. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the bombing had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has tried to stage large-scale attacks over the past weeks to detract Iraqi authorities from the battle for IS-held western Mosul. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)  (The Associated Press)

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, meets with Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri, right, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Guterres arrived in Iraq amid a growing humanitarian crisis due to months-long fighting against the Islamic State group in Mosul, as the extremist group claimed responsibility for an overnight suicide attack in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, meets with Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri, right, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Guterres arrived in Iraq amid a growing humanitarian crisis due to months-long fighting against the Islamic State group in Mosul, as the extremist group claimed responsibility for an overnight suicide attack in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations Secretary-General has arrived in Iraq amid a growing humanitarian crisis due to months-long fighting against the Islamic State group in Mosul.

The U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq says Antonio Guterres landed in Baghdad on Thursday to focus on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground. Amid reports of dozens civilians killed by airstrikes in Mosul, the statement said that "protection of civilians must be the absolute priority."

UNAMI spokesman Samir Ghattas says Gutterres will meet Iraq's president, prime minster and Parliament speaker before heading north to visit displaced persons camps.

Since the start of Mosul military operation in October, more than 350,000 people have fled the fighting, according to U.N. figures.