GENEVA: The United Nations refugee agency said on Monday that up to 100,000 Iraqis may flee to Syria and Turkey to escape the Iraqi government's military assault aimed at ousting Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued an appeal for an additional $61 million to provide tents, camps, winter items and stoves for displaced inside Iraq and the two neighbouring countries. "UNHCR is concerned that events in Mosul may cause up to 100,000 Iraqis to flee towards Syria and Turkey," it said. "Preparedness plans are underway in Syria to receive up to 90,000 Iraqi refugees."