Battle for Mosul sees sharp increase in civilian casualties

  • Ashleigh Templeton
  • 25.3.2017 15:36

Mosul Mayor Hussein Ali Khajem said more than 150 people were killed in the fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State (IS) since 20 March, whilst the UN said more than 200 were killed in airstrike-related incidents between 17-23 March.

The Iraqi Army is pushing closer to Mosul's Old City, where the UNHCR representative in Iraq, Bruno Geddo, said around 400 000 civilians were trapped under Islamic State control. Authorities continued to search for bodies in the rubbles. Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Dekker stated that civilians are literally everywhere, and that people have been caught in the crossfire and targeted by the IS. Those remaining in the city face food, fuel and electricity shortages and some are attempting to flee risking IS snipers and landmines rather than starve to death. The Iraqi Army is facing difficulties due to heavy rain, narrow streets, and heavy resistance from IS snipers and mortar fire. As a result, the forces are looking to employ new tactics and are assessing opening up another front. The IS was surrounded by coalition forces after the re-capture of the last road leading out of Mosul on 1 March.

About author: Ashleigh Templeton

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