Iraqi troops continue a difficult battle to retake the old city of Mosul, in which they are entered on Monday, calling on civilians to stay away, and the jihadists to surrender. The forces of the army, counter-terrorism (ct) and the federal police have managed to penetrate a few meters into the old town for the price of fierce battles with fighters of the organization islamic State (EI)n who “opposed a fierce resistance,” said the general iraqi Maan al-Saadi.
“This is the battle the more dangerous because of the configuration of the old town and the high density of the population,” he added. Some 100,000 civilians are ” used as human shields by the jihadists, stated theUN while NGOS have expressed their fears in the face of risks incurred by inhabitants of the besieged, and lacking everything. In the Face of explosions and bullets continued to fly, the captain Ahmed Jassem from the CTS takes shelter at the edge of the old town. “We cannot get our vehicles in the narrow streets, but (the jihadists) can’t we launch car bombs. They can use the bikes bombs and homemade bombs, placed on toys with remote “, he said.
“Surrender or die “
Eight months after the start of the offensive to retake Mosul, the second largest city ofIraq, government forces, supported by the international coalition led by the United States, have launched Sunday the final assault against the old town to chase the jihadists from their last major stronghold in urban Iraq. A recovery of this sector would allow troops to control the entire metropolis of northern fell in June 2014 in the hands of the AR.
Sunday evening, helicopters in iraq have dropped 500,000 leaflets over Mosul, announcing to the inhabitants ” the encirclement of all units of the old city and the beginning of the assault from all directions “. “Stay away from public places, and enjoy any opportunity to come to iraqi forces to avoid being used as human shields “, he wrote. Deployed near the grand mosque on the eastern part of Mosul controlled by the power, in the face of the old town, vehicles Humvee have issued calls via loudspeakers. “Iraqi forces are on the point of put an end to your suffering. The east and west of Mosul will be meeting again very soon “, says the message to the address of the inhabitants surrounded. To the jihadists, the message gives the choice of “surrender” or ” die “.
“Terrifying moments “
According to general Saadi, a commander of the CTS, the troops have taken positions in the district Farouq. The jihadists have blocked all the entrances of the old town, laid explosive devices and booby-trapped houses “. “The presence of a large number of civilians severely limit our use of the artillery and our ability to appeal to aviation “, he said. A few hundred meters from the front line, of the inhabitants are sitting in front of their house or end up in front of the open shops in the middle of the ruins.
With the critical support of the international coalition, the iraqi forces launched on 17 October 2016 the offensive for the recapture of Mosul. After having reconquered the end of January the eastern part, they have launched in February the battle to take back the west, which they currently control 90 %, according to the army. The NGO International Rescue Committee has warned that the civilians were going to ” live the terrifying moments “. Save The Children is concerned about the fate of some 50,000 children who have nowhere to hide or escape and have more water or food. No overall assessment of civilian casualties in the offensive could not be obtained, even if some sources have referred to hundreds of deaths.