Spiegel Online 29 May 2017
“Every morning, as soon as the sun comes up, they arrive by the thousands, scurrying out of the protection offered by the ruined buildings or sidling through the shadows in destroyed streets. Some, as though nothing more could happen to them after having escaped the hell of western Mosul, walk indifferently down the middle of the main streets. It is an exodus of the exhausted and distraught from a city that was once Iraq’s second largest — a rich metropolis that has been populated since biblical times.
“They set off at night, some of them having been shepherded past roadblocks by corrupt Islamic State fighters but most sneaking through the ruins. Their goal is the Baghdad roundabout, a couple kilometers south of the city center. Everyone in the city knows about this escape route, say those who are fleeing, and that buses are waiting there to bring them to safety…”