Up to 1 million could flee fighting in Iraq: ICRC

Up to million people could be forced to flee their homes in Iraq in coming weeks and months as fighting intensifies to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday.

The humanitarian agency said it was seeking a further 17.1 million Swiss francs for its programme in Iraq, its third largest worldwide, bringing its budget for the country to $137 million Swiss francs.

"The situation is unpredictable but we must prepare for the worst. There’s the likelihood that fighting will intensify, particularly in the Mosul area. Hundreds of thousands of people may very well be on the move in the coming weeks and months, seeking shelter and assistance," said Robert Mardini, ICRC director for the Near and Middle East on return from Iraq.