Pinoys in Iraq told to be vigilant as offensive in Mosul starts
As Iraqi forces started their offensive to liberate Mosul from ISIS terrorists, Filipinos in the Middle Eastern country were advised to be vigilant.
In an advisory, the Pilippine Embassy in Baghdad urged Filipinos in Iraq to "remain vigilant, stay indoors and avoid unnecessary movements."
Filipinos were also urged to avoid public places to ensure their safety.
For assistance, Filipinos were encouraged to call 773-569-9562, 751-616-7838 and 750-656-1740.
The advisory was issued over the weekend, as Iraqi forces geared up for a massive offensive to free Mosul from ISIS control.
A CNN report said in a televised statement early Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said forces with the Iraqi army and National Police will enter the city "and no others."
The report said the offensive is expected to last weeks, if not months.
Except for Kurdistan region, Manila continues to observe a deployment ban to all parts of Iraq because of tension after the withdrawal of American troops in December 2011, more than a decade after an invasion took place, which toppled the regime of late strongman Saddam Hussein.
The Philippines has placed most of Iraq under Alert Level 4, which calls for mandatory repatriation, after the Islamic State captured the city of Mosul in 2014. Kurdistan is under Alert Level I.
There is an estimated 2,000 Filipinos are in Iraq, majority of them in Kurdistan. —KBK, GMA News