100000 civilians behind Islamic State lines in Iraq's Mosul

Tabitha Dunn
June 26, 2017

The United Nations believes up to 150,000 civilians are still trapped in harrowing conditions in Mosul's Old City, where ISIL fighters battling advancing Iraqi forces are shooting at anyone trying to flee as part of a tactic to keep them as human shields.

Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for UN's mission in Iraq said that they are expecting the fight for Old Mosul to begin "within days".

About 800,000 people, more than a third of the pre-war population of Mosul, have already fled the city to seek refuge with friends and relatives or in camps.

Iraqi forces are fighting to retake Mosul from Islamic State, after the jihadist group overran the city in 2014, imposing its brutal rule on its inhabitants. On Thursday, the Armed Forces lowered the black flag of Daesh (the acronym of the IS in Arabic) and hoisted the Iraqi flag in public buildings in Bab Sinjar, in the western zone, from where they moved to Farouq to plan the final attack on the Old City.

"ISIS (Islamic State) snipers continue to aim at people trying to flee because there is this long-standing policy of executing people trying to flee the territory of the caliphate", he said.

Over 370,000 are being aided in camps, with another 144,000 receiving aid in east Mosul, or in abandoned buildings.

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Grande stressed, however, that Islamic State fighters are making it extremely hard to leave the Old City by surrounding it with concrete walls shaped like upside-down T's, and placing snipers all along the walls who are shooting "anyone who's trying to escape".

Geddo said about 667,000 people had been displaced from Mosul, of whom 635,000 were from West Mosul.

An Iraqi special forces soldier helps a family carry their child to cross from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul March 4, 2017.

The UN Refugee Agency is working to reunite families separated in flight and is helping displaced people to replace identity documents they have lost.

They are trapped inside with very little food, very little water, some resort to drinking sewage water, there is no fuel left.

ISIS snipers are deliberately targeting civilians attempting to flee the city.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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