Angelina Jolie Meets Survivors at Iraq’s Devastated City of Mosul

The ‘Maleficent’ star visits the city after its liberation from ISIS occupation as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Angelina Jolie visited the devastated city of Mosul in Iraq, less than one year after its liberation from ISIS occupation.

The actress serves as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and met with a man and his three children on Saturday, June 16, who survived an airstrike in the war-torn city.

Angelina, who was on her 61st mission in her role for the UN, spoke with Mohamed, who lost his 17-year-old daughter after a missile destroyed his home.

“This is the worst devastation I have seen in all my years working with UNHCR,” the 43-year-old said, reports People. “People here have lost everything: their homes are destroyed. They are destitute. They have no medicine for their children, and many have no running water or basic services. They are still surrounded by bodies in the rubble.”

In photos obtained by the U.S. publication, Mohamed’s two surviving daughters were seen proudly showing their school reports to Angelina, who smiled as she read them.

“The girls I met talked about the years of not being able to go to school, and of seeing people killed, and of feeling too afraid to leave their houses,” she said. “It is deeply upsetting that people who have endured unparalleled brutality have so little as they try, somehow, to rebuild the lives they once had.”

Angelina emphasised the need for recovery and reconstruction so that the people of Mosul wouldn’t be forgotten, and called on the international community “not to turn their attention away from its people”.

The UN estimates that at least 40,000 homes need to be restored or rebuilt, and more than two million people have been displaced during the three-year-long conflict. Though the city was liberated from the brutal ISIS regime, fighting continues.

Saturday’s trip was Jolie’s fifth visit to Iraq since 2001, and coincided with the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

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