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Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:27 am

Dozens of civilians killed' fleeing ISIS-held district :((

Dozens of civilians have been killed in Mosul while fleeing a district held by so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in the Iraqi city, reports say.

A Reuters TV crew found the bodies of men, women and children laying in a street in the Zanjili district.

It is not clear how exactly the civilians were killed. A US aid worker was quoted as saying that ISIS had been shooting people trying to escape.

The Iraqi army began a major offensive to take back Mosul in October.

It is being supported by air and ground strikes from a US-led coalition.

The Iraqi authorities have so far made no public comments on the latest reports.

The Reuters TV crew reported seeing dead bodies laying on Saturday in Zanjili - one of three frontline districts still in the hands of ISIS.

"Over the past two days ISIS (Islamic State) has been shooting people escaping this area," Dave Eubank from the Free Burma Rangers relief association told the news agency.

"I saw over 50 dead bodies yesterday (Friday), we worked with the Americans to get smoke and an Iraqi tank, and followed behind them and we rescued one little girl and one man. But there are still more," he said.

Some of those trying to escape have reportedly been injured in a coalition air strikes targeting ISIS fighters.

Hundreds of other civilians - some wounded and some carrying apparently dead bodies wrapped in blankets - had managed to reach the government lines, Reuters reported.

ISIS militants want to keep civilians around them - making it harder for the advancing government troops to pick out and target the gunmen.

Local people have been extremely vulnerable as the attacking government forces and their US-led coalition allies have closed in.

In March, the US military acknowledged that aircraft of the coalition fighting ISIS hit a location in west Mosul where dozens of civilians were reportedly killed.

The northern Iraqi city of Mosul fell to ISIS in 2014 and is its last major urban stronghold in Iraq.

Pro-government forces took full control of the eastern half of Mosul in January and started an assault on the west the following month.

Fewer than a few hundred militants are now believed to be besieged in north-western districts, including the Old City, along with as many as 450,000 civilians.

More than 580,000 civilians have fled the city since the operation to recapture it began, according to the Iraqi government.

Most have taken refuge in nearby camps and reception centres. Others have gone to stay with relatives and friends.

There is also deep concern for the thousands of people who remain in western Mosul. Food supplies are very low and clean drinking water is in very short supply.

The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. At least 2,014 have been killed and 1,516 injured across Nineveh province since the start of October.

Iraq's military does not release casualty figures, but a US general said at the end of March that 774 Iraqi security personnel had been killed and 4,600 wounded.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40146724
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:35 am

Mosul battle: ISIS kills 230 fleeing civilians, says UN

The UN has received reports that 231 Iraqi civilians have been killed by so-called Islamic State while attempting to flee Mosul over the past two weeks.

At least 204 are believed to have been shot dead by militants during clashes with Iraqi security forces in the Shifa district last Thursday and Saturday.

The UN said it had noted a "significant escalation" in such killings.

There are also reports of between 50 and 80 civilians being killed in an air strike on the Zanjili area on 31 May.

Pro-government forces launched an offensive to retake Mosul in October with the support of a US-led multinational coalition.

They managed to take full control of the eastern half of Mosul in January and started an assault on the west the following month.

Fewer than 1,000 militants are now besieged in IS-controlled parts of the Old City and several adjoining northern districts, along with some 100,000 civilians.

The UN Human Rights office said it had documented IS "use of civilians as human shields and its slaughter of those attempting to flee" since the start of the operation, but that recent reports indicated "a significant escalation in such killings".

On 26 May, militants reportedly shot at civilians trying to flee Shifa, killing 27 people, including 14 women and five children.

Another 163 civilians were allegedly shot dead next to a Pepsi factory in the same district last Thursday. Their bodies were reportedly left on the street for days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40200008

We will NEVER know how many innocent people have been killed in Mosul, but I am absolutely certain it runs into THOUSANDS X(
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:56 am

Mosul displaced hit by food poisoning in Iraqi camp

Hundreds of people have fallen ill and a child has died of suspected food poisoning at a camp for displaced people near the Iraqi city of Mosul.

People were said to be vomiting and suffering dehydration after an iftar meal, to break the daily Ramadan fast.

The Hasansham U2 camp, between Mosul and Irbil, houses people displaced by an Iraqi offensive to capture Mosul from so-called Islamic State (IS).

IS fighters are currently under heavy siege in the west of the city.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement that around 800 cases had been recorded, 200 of whom were taken to hospital.

Unconfirmed reports say a second person, a woman, has died.

The agency said it was "extremely concerned" by the events at the camp.

"Staff have been working closely overnight to co-ordinate the response with other agencies and the relevant authorities... to ensure that those who have fallen ill were able to receive swift medical treatment and that the seriously sick were provided transport to nearby hospitals," the statement said.

The food, containing beans, chicken and yoghurt, was prepared in a restaurant in Irbil and brought to the camp by a Qatari charity, Rudaw news agency added.

It quoted camp supervisor Rizgar Obed as saying that outside organisations had previously been banned from bringing in food, but the camp authorities had been forced "under great pressure" to change the regulations.

People are being treated in three hospitals in the area.

The restaurant owner has been arrested, Rudaw reported.

The camp is one of 13 built by the UNHCR in the Mosul area to cope with people fleeing from the city and surrounding villages.

It currently houses 6,235 people.

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, launched an offensive last October to recapture Mosul from IS.

They started an assault on the west of the city in February.

Fewer than 1,000 militants are now besieged in IS-controlled parts of the Old City and several adjoining northern districts, along with some 100,000 civilians.

More than 800,000 people - about a third of the pre-war population of Mosul - have been displaced since October, 633,000 of them from the west of the city.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40257385
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:15 pm

Iraqi armed forces announce progress in Mosul campaign, say district north of old city captured

Iraqi forces on Tuesday reported progress in the U.S.-backed campaign to dislodge Islamic State from Mosul, announcing the capture of a district just north the city's historic center.

With the loss of the Zanjili neighborhood, the enclave still held by Islamic State in the northern Iraqi city has shrunk to two districts along the western banks of the Tigris river - the densely populated Old City center and the Medical City.

Iraqi government forces retook eastern Mosul in January and began a new push on May 27 to capture the remaining enclave, where up to 200,000 people are trapped.

The Mosul offensive started in October with air and ground support from a U.S.-led international coalition. It has taken much longer than expected as Islamic State is fighting in the middle of civilians, slowing the advance of the assailants.

The fall of Mosul would, in effect, mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" declared in 2014 over parts of Iraq and Syria by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a speech from a historic mosque in the old city.

In Syria, Kurdish forces backed by U.S.-air strikes are besieging Islamic State forces in the city of Raqqa, the militants' de facto capital in that country.

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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mide ... SKBN19417G
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:13 am

‘Whole families perished’:
Survivor recalls deadly airstrike on Mosul’s Zanjili district

Whole families were killed in an airstrike that reportedly took the lives of 80 people in the Islamic State-held Zanjili district of Mosul, Iraq, on May 31, a survivor of the attack said.

The bombardment brought down at least “four houses,” causing the death of “approximately four families,” he said.

Jasem said that he and his neighbors rushed to help those in trouble, removing several "women, children and men" from the debris.

Those, who were beyond rescuing, "we left them under the rubble," he added.

According to Mahal, the survivors packed their belongings and fled Zanjili district shortly after the airstrike.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Office addressed the bombing of Zanjili district where “a strike on May 31 reportedly caused between 50 and 80 civilian deaths.”

“The UN Human Rights Office in Iraq is seeking further information about these attacks,” it said in statement.

The UN body, which stopped short of blaming the US-led coalition for the deadly airstrike, concluded its statement with a call for “the Iraqi Security Forces and their Coalition partners to ensure that their operations comply fully with international humanitarian law and that all possible measures are taken to avoid the loss of civilian lives.”

UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani later said that “it is very difficult to determine which planes carried out the airstrikes” and if there was “a legitimate military target" in Zanjili.

The US-led coalition has been carrying out a bombing campaign in Mosul to assist the Iraqi forces, which are fighting to liberate the last IS stronghold in the country.

Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed the death of over a hundred civilians in an airstrike on Mosul’s al-Jadida neighborhood in March.

The US Central Command (CentCom) said in early June that at least 484 civilians have died in the Coalition’s airstrikes in Syria and Iraq since the bombings began in 2014


https://www.rt.com/news/392623-whole-fa ... r-recalls/

I doubt very much that the coalition send anyone into the area to count the number of bodies X(

This disgusting war is based on the world as a whole ignoring savagery of the Shia government

Allowing for the formation of a fundamentalist Sunni group to grow inside Syria and Iraq - almost certainly connected to, or derived from, the group of Islamic fundamentalist savages the Turkish government formed to attack Kurds inside Turkey X(
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:16 am

Thousands of children at risk in Mosul conflict

At least 100 children are known to have been killed in the latest violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

The UN’s children’s agency says the actual number is likely to be much higher.

Of the thousands who made it to safety, many have been orphaned or separated from their families.
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:26 am

Niqab ban in Mosul amid fears ISIS jihadists will don face veil to launch attacks

ISIS terrorists have posed as pious veil-clad women to move around the Iraqi city freely and carry out bloody attacks.

But the Iraqi army has temporarily banned the Islamic veil in eastern Mosul as part of a package of measures to curb jihadist attacks in the area.

The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear and is worn with a headscarf.

ISIS invaded Mosul in 2014 and turned it into their de facto capital in Iraq, imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic law on locals and forcing women of all ages to wear the niqab, a conservative black face veil, when out in public.

Iraqi forces liberated parts of Mosul in January and issued the ban after detaining several ISIS fighters disguised as niqab-clad women.

The ousted terrorists have been using the garment to carry out suicide attacks and hit-and-run attacks on army checkpoints in the city.

The Iraqi army has banned the niqab in Mosul to stop ISIS jihadists using them as 'disguise'

Police chief Talal Abdallah said: “We have banned women from wearing the niqab because ISIS soldiers have been dressing up as veil-clad women to walk around Mosul freely and avoid police detection."

After years of living under ISIS rule, Mosul locals have welcomed the ban.

Abu Messab, a 50-year-old Mosul local who sells clothes at a shop inside Nabi Yunis market said: “Nobody wants to buy a niqab."

ISIS jihadists have been hiding their faces behind the veil to walk freely around Mosul

“We’ve stopped stocking the face veil. Mosul women now want brightly coloured headscarves… We’re back to pre-ISIS times.

“Police are here the whole time. When they see women with their face covered, they ask them politely to no longer wear the veil. And people cooperate."

Umm Ali, 45, said: “Under ISIS rule, women never dared come to the market without a face veil, gloves and black socks.

“I saw the world from behind a black veil. The world seemed like a dark place. But as soon as they (ISIS) left, I threw my niqab away."

Iraq has reclaimed several parts of Mosul from ISIS hands

The Iraqi army has also banned the use of motorcycles and lorries from 6pm local time, as both have been used in the past to launch suicide bomb attacks.

In addition, Mosul locals have been banned from buying SIM cards for their mobile phones without first showing their identity papers.

Mr Abdallah, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS, said: “We have taken these measures to minimise or prevent infiltration by Daesh.

“The security of our citizens is more important than their freedom.”

He added the precautionary bans would be lifted once the entire city had been taken back from ISIS.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/818 ... -jihadists

I believe that the niqab, burka and such should all be banned WORLDWIDE

A great many robberies take place in which men are dressed in burkas ti disguise their build

Also, many men and women use burkas to conceal stolen goods when they are shop lifting - it happens a lot in the UK
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:03 am

Mosul’s Old City waits for salvation amid ‘death, death, death

In the last square mile of Islamic State territory in this city, terrified families trapped in their basements are bracing for a final ferocious showdown.

As many as 150,000 residents are crammed into Mosul’s Old City, as Islamic State fighters fortify their positions in the warren of narrow streets and alleyways.

With no safe drinking water, sickness and disease are spreading as food and medicine run dangerously low. Mortars fired by security forces trying to dislodge the militants “rain down,” while airstrikes tear down buildings in the packed neighborhood, one resident said by phone from the besieged area.

But attempting to escape is just as dangerous, with militants determined to keep civilians as human shields and gunning down hundreds who have tried to flee in recent weeks — men, women and children.

“I think the chance of us dying on our way out of the city is higher than the chance of us dying in our houses,” the resident said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of Islamic State reprisals. “We are living in a state of horror and siege.”

The punishing eight-month battle for the city has taken place in heavily populated neighborhoods, leaving entire streets in ruins. Islamic State militants are now nearly entirely contained in the Old City, where more hardened foreign fighters have arrived in recent weeks as their territory shrinks, residents say.

In the middle of the historic city center lies the Great Mosque of al-Nuri with its iconic leaning minaret, where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate three years ago. The fighters have hunkered down in surrounding alleys — nine or 10 in each, according to another resident who recently fled — and zip around on motorcycles.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the U.S.-led coalition backing Iraq’s fight with airstrikes and military advisers, recently described Mosul as the toughest urban warfare he has witnessed, or even read about, during his 34 years of service. But Iraqi and U.S. military officials expect the final push into the Old City to be more brutal still as the militants make a last stand.

Massacres of civilians attempting to leave have deterred many from trying. In the worst incident, more than 100 people were gunned down near the city’s Pepsi factory this month. The militants also confiscate identity cards; some men are scared to leave without them because security forces might suspect they are Islamic State fighters.

The Old City resident said his extended family of 20 recently ran out of the three months of food they had stored, but managed to purchase about 22 pounds of flour for $170. They eat a single meal every day at sunset.

“That’s the luxurious life,” he said. “Many can’t even find that.”


Residents risk mortar fire to wait in line for muddy well water that is causing diarrhea and hepatitis A, he said. If they can find wood to burn, they boil the water before drinking it, he said.

Around 10 to 15 civilians die each day in bombings, he said. Militants demand that the doors of homes are kept open so that they can access rooftops to fight, bringing terror to residents inside who fear they could be accidentally killed in airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition or Iraqi forces. The buildings are old and unstable, and several can be torn down in a single strike, he said.

“We pray that there is no strike near us, not just on our house, but near us, because the result will be the same,” he said. “There are lots of families trapped under the rubble.”

Col. Ryan Dillon, a coalition spokesman in Baghdad, said the integrity and density of buildings are taken into account before airstrikes are conducted, as are Islamic State tactics of gathering people in houses used for fighting positions.

Those who do escape gather at designated locations for screening by security forces and evacuation. Many are dehydrated, malnourished and injured when they arrive, according to medics. All are traumatized.

“It’s death, death, death, red death,” said 22-year-old Ahmed Haitham. “We haven’t seen the sun for the past month.” Eighteen people were killed in an airstrike in the house next to his a day earlier, he said. His family still had food, but others said hunger had forced them to leave.

The provincial council sent a request to the federal government and the U.S.-led coalition for an airdrop of essential food supplies two months ago but has not received a response, said Hussam al-Abar, one of its members. Dillon said the coalition has not received such a request.

Estimates of the number of people trapped in the Old City range widely. Abar put the number at 45,000, while Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq said between 120,000 and 150,000 are inside. “The major concern is water,” she said. “Food is short, the electricity is off most of the time, and there are severe shortages of medicine.”

Ahmed Mohammed, 32, fled the Maidan neighborhood of the Old City two weeks ago with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 2. Having run out of milk for the children, they had little choice, he said.

It took him two days to get from his house to the security forces, despite it being a distance of only a few miles. The family traveled from house to house to evade the militants, who stop people in the street they suspect are trying to flee.

“We started at 2 a.m. and went to houses recommended by friends, or friends of friends,” he said. “Now I’m talking to relatives inside, they say they won’t try to leave after Zanjili,” he added, referring to the mass killings at the Pepsi factory.

Before he left the city, Islamic State militants were reinforcing around the Grand Mosque of al-Nuri, with more fighters from the Caucasus arriving in the area recently, he said.

Maj. Gen. Najim al-Jabouri, the head of Nineveh Operations Command, said the Islamic State fighters in the city include about 300 to 400 foreigners and about the same number of locals.

Dillon put the total number at “less than 1,000.”

Federal police forces reached the outskirts of the Old City months ago but stalled as they hit the dense neighborhoods and have suffered persistent counterattacks. With the offensive from the south stuttering, Iraqi troops repositioned to begin a new attack from the north in May, moving in to choke off the Old City.

“They are the hammer, and we are the anvil — be a strong anvil,” Lt. Col. John Hawbaker, who heads the advise and assist mission for federal police forces, told U.S. paratroopers on lookout at a base less than two miles from the mosque, as forces began their new offensive to surround the Old City.

But the anvil was shaken this week when dozens of Islamic State fighters penetrated police lines in a well-planned counterattack, briefly taking ground.

Still, the final push for Mosul’s Old City is expected soon, Iraqi commanders say. A small area around the Jumhuiya hospital is the only territory outside of the Old City still to be recaptured.

“Tell the security forces to reach us quickly,” the Old City resident pleaded. “If this lasts until the end of the month, many people will die.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mi ... fbc687bcc0

I, personally believe the civilians were much safer in Mosul prior to the coalition's attack
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:10 am

Mosul neighbors reject U.S. claim that ISIS stored explosives in building leveled in airstrike

The last thing Ahmed Manhal discussed with his six cousins and nephews was what they were all going to cook for lunch the next day.

It was March 16. By 9 the next morning, the 22-year-old’s family members were dead, along with nearly 100 others sheltering in a three-story building in Mosul’s Jadidah neighborhood.

An investigation released Thursday by the Pentagon said that a U.S. bomb targeting two Islamic State snipers inadvertently triggered a cache of Islamic State explosives stored on the second floor of the structure. The resulting blast, the Pentagon said, killed most of the 101 civilians inside the building and four others in an adjoining house. The targets of the airstrike, the two snipers, were also killed.

Manhal, who lives across the street from the destroyed house, heard the explosion, as did his father, Sameer. The two deny that the Islamic State moved any explosives into the building, however. Both recalled militants arriving the night before the airstrike, telling those still in their homes to leave before fighting began the next day. The snipers, they said, arrived at the house for the first time the morning of March 17, armed with rifles and little else.

“It was an airstrike,” Manhal’s father said of the incident. “There were no explosives.”

Brig. Gen Mohammed al-Jawari, the civil defense chief for Mosul, also disputed the U.S. report.

“We were the first people who went to the site and evacuated all the bodies, and we didn’t find any explosives there, only a few grenades and IEDs that weren’t exploded. . . . What caused that destruction was an airstrike, nothing else,” he said.

The elder Manhal said civilians from the neighborhood had been sheltering at the house for a week before the strike, taking advantage of its basement — the only one on the block — for protection.

In its report, the Pentagon said U.S. and Iraqi forces believed that the structure was empty of civilians, having watched the Islamic State evict families from homes in the days before the strike.

The U.S. Central Command, however, was made aware that there were families trapped in the area on March 14, three days before the airstrike, according to direct messages sent to its official Arabic twitter account. The sender did not wish to be identified for security reasons. In a message, he requested the urgent evacuation of families trapped inside houses near the Fathi al-Ali mosque, saying they were at risk of being killed. The house hit in the U.S.-led strike was about 1,500 feet away from the mosque.

“Information received,” Central Command replied. “Thank you for your message.”

Ahmed Abdulkareem, 32, was next door when the bomb, a 500-pound, satellite-guided munition called a GBU-38, penetrated his neighbor’s roof. The weapon was set with a delayed fuse, the Pentagon’s report says, so that the bomb would explode after it entered the house. The delayed detonation ensured that the ensuing blast would be contained on the second floor, killing the snipers firing from that level.

Instead, the Pentagon said, the bomb triggered additional explosives stored in the building, producing “a powerful blast and overpressure that triggered a rapid progressive failure of the structure.”

Abdulkareem’s brother was killed in the explosion, despite being next door. He, too, said that there were no Islamic State explosives stored in the structure. “There were only families,” he said.

The Pentagon’s report said that the bomb’s blast should have resulted in “no more than 16-20% damage to the structure, localized to the front of the second floor.” The additional explosives, the report says, razed the structure. A crater found at the rear of the building, presumably caused by the militants’ munitions, indicated that the additional explosives “contained more than four times the net explosive weight of the GBU-38.”

A U.S. military pilot, who spoke on the condition anonymity because of his active duty status, said the report’s damage estimates for the initial airstrike were low and unrealistic. The pilot, who flew hundreds of combat sorties over Iraq and Afghanistan, said that using a GBU-type bomb on a residential structure ensures that there is an “extremely high probability” that the “entire building will be destroyed and every living entity inside would be killed.”

The U.S.-led coalition has acknowledged killing more than 300 civilians since it started its air campaign against the Islamic State in 2014. Monitoring groups, however, put the number of civilian dead caused by errant airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in the thousands.

“Americans have technology that they can see anything; sometimes they shoot one man from the air,” the elder Manhal said. “They did this on purpose.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mo ... ceb212fd2b
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:46 pm

The world should know what is happening in Mosul

Starving infant found alive days after bombing

A starving child has been saved after spending days alone in the wreckage of a school following bombing in Mosul.

Footage shot by Iraqi forces shows soldiers washing the dirt off the one-year-old boy, before holding his head up to pour water into his mouth.

As the child cries, a body covered in a blanket can be seen in the corner of the ruined classroom.

Image

During the video, a soldier explains that the boy had not eaten for days and was discovered while an army regiment advanced into Mosul's Old City.

The child's mother and grandfather were among a number of people killed at the school in Bab Sinjar neighbourhood, he adds.

On Sunday, Iraqi forces launched an assault to reclaim the Old City, the only district still under control of Islamic State militants in Mosul.

US-backed Iraqi troops have been battling to capture the city for nine months.

Iraqi Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al Assadi said progress was slow but the battle "is going as planned".

He said: "We have many obstacles - the nature of the land, the nature of the construction, the roads and the civilian population - all of which make us slow down our work."

Troops have faced heavy sniper and mortar fire, while jihadists have also left a number of booby-traps in the streets of the Old City.

There are fears for the safety of more than 100,000 civilians believed to be trapped in the district, but Lt Gen al Assadi said hundreds have managed to escape and approach Iraqi troops.

As Iraqi troops launched their assault, soldiers parked Humvees by the Grand Mosque facing the Old City and mounted them with speakers.

Using the loudspeakers, soldiers told IS fighters: "You have only this choice: surrender or die".

http://news.sky.com/story/starving-infa ... l-10921319
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:01 pm

IS 'blows up' al-Nuri mosque

So-called Islamic State (IS) has blown up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, Iraqi forces say.

The historic landmark was where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" in 2014.

However, IS claims that US aircraft destroyed the mosque, in a statement issued by its news outlet Amaq.

The Iraqi commander in charge of the offensive to retake Mosul said troops were within 50m of the mosque when IS "committed another historical crime".

The jihadists have destroyed a string of important heritage sites in Iraq and Syria.

The UN says IS may be holding more than 100,000 people in Mosul as human shields.

Thousands of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen, assisted by US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers, are involved in the offensive against IS, which was launched on 17 October 2016.

The government announced the full "liberation" of eastern Mosul in January 2017. But the west of the city has presented a more difficult challenge, with its narrow, winding streets.

Parts of the mosque, including its distinctive leaning minaret, had stood for hundreds of years.

A month after IS forces overran Mosul in June 2014, Baghdadi gave a Friday sermon from the pulpit inside the mosque and proclaimed a caliphate - a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God's deputy on Earth, or caliph.

It was his first public appearance in many years.

Image

The Old City is the last district under the control of IS within Mosul itself, which was the group's stronghold in Iraq.

On Sunday, commanders announced the start of the "final chapter" of the offensive, with Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service, Army and Federal Police attacking the Old City from all directions.

The army said that it believed there were no more than 300 militants left in Mosul, compared with almost 6,000 at the start of the offensive in October.

Earlier this week aircraft dropped leaflets urging civilians to avoid open spaces and to take any opportunity to escape.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned on Tuesday that the flow of injured civilians out of western Mosul had increased, with victims having wounds from gunshots, shelling and bombs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40361857#
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:16 pm

The UN says IS may be holding more than 100,000 people in Mosul as human shields.


If there are only 300 jihadists how can they possibility be holding 100,000 people?

A massacre is taking place and NOBODY seems to care X(

    How many innocent animals have been slaughtered

    How many innocent animals have been left injured to die in pain?

    How many Innocent babies have been massacred?

    How many Innocent babies have been maimed?

    How many children have been killed?

    How many children have been maimed?

    How many women have been killed?

    How many women have been maimed?

    How many men have been killed?

    How many men have been maimed?

    How many brothers/sisters fathers/mothers aunts/uncles
    and grandparents are being killed in this senseless war?

    How many homes/businesses have been destroyed?
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:27 pm

Rival groups vie for supremacy as fight against ISIS reaches tipping point

With Isis close to defeat in Mosul, its various opponents are already competing to define what will happen next

Iraqi forces have advanced to the base of the toppled minaret of Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri, hours after it was destroyed by Islamic State militants, as the bitter eight-month battle to recapture the city reached a tipping point.

The destruction of the mosque marked a pivotal moment in the war against Isis, which declared its now withered caliphate from there three years ago. The terror group’s wanton act of sabotage was widely seen as a harbinger of its imminent defeat.

Across northern Iraq, only a portion of Mosul’s old city and a small adjoining neighbourhood remain under Isis control. The nearby towns of Tel Afar and Hweija, both of which are surrounded, make up the remainder of the group’s territory, a mere sliver of the lands over which it had lorded at the height of its power in mid-2014.

As its fortunes have turned, the group’s remaining members have fled Iraq for the deserts of Syria. So rapid has been their capitulation that plans are now being drafted for a decisive battle later this year, somewhere between the Syrian and Jordanian borders, areas far from those that Isis had coveted.

Lined up in pursuit are a range of players who had have staked claims throughout the fight with Isis, as well as parallel regional conflicts, and have waited for the time to consolidate. As the organisation crumbles, all sides have now started competing for an edge, who gets to define what emerges from the collapse of Isis is a prize bigger than winning the war itself.

Russia, Iran and the US are scrambling for supremacy, eschewing the brinkmanship that has peppered the war for direct clashes unprecedented in the region over recent decades.

As Mosul and Isis’s Syrian epicentre, Raqqa, have started to teeter, Iranian proxies and the US have squared off at least three times on the Syrian side of border. Last week, the risk of further escalation increased when a US jet downed a Syrian plane over the north of the country, drawing a warning from Russia that coalition planes should stay out of its radar range.

Washington said its fighter jet acted to defend its proxies who were moving through Isis-held areas around Raqqa. Raised over the past year to the chagrin of Syria, the anti-Assad opposition, Turkey and increasingly Russia – the mainly Kurdish force has been set the task of retaking Raqqa and nearby towns. As it has edged ahead, Russian and Syrian forces have taken more aggressive postures.

“They are running interference there,” said a senior western official. “They do not want anyone but the Syrian army, which is nearly all Iranian-backed Shia militias, taking that city. As the campaign has changed from talk to reality, they have started to act against it.”

Iran too has taken an unusually direct stance in the multilayered conflict, firing ballistic missiles from its territory, across Iraq, to the Syrian town of Mayadin, where scattered Isis leaders have regrouped.

The attacks marked the first time Tehran had launched ballistic missiles in combat since the end of the Iran-Iraq war nearly three decades ago.

The missiles were ostensibly revenge for attacks claimed by Isis earlier this month in the Iranian parliament and near the tomb of Ayatollah Khomenei, founder of the Islamic republic.

The missiles also served another purpose, regional officials believed. Iran was setting aside its preferred use of proxies for a direct stake in the conflict, just as the US had done several weeks earlier by attacking Hezbollah members who had advanced towards their own proxies close to the border area of Tanf.

Since then, US forces protecting the Syrian opposition groups it has raised in the east of the country have twice shot down approaching drones. That has not stopped Iranian backed forces, mainly comprised of Lebanese Hezbollah, from moving east toward the Iraqi border to the north of Tanf, stopping the US and its allies from advancing north toward Raqqa and preventing the Kurds from moving too far south.

The bewildering movements of five state militaries – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia and the US – as well as their various proxies seems likely to increase the number of collisions.

Each side faces a series of calculations that have little to do with how to defeat what remains of Isis, or to deal with the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are fleeing the latest fighting - the death throes of Mosul and Raqqa – and the looming campaign in Deir ez-Zor and Mayedin, where Isis looks set to make its last stand.

The human toll of the war for Mosul continued to emerge from the ruins of the city on Thursday, as Iraqi troops escorted haggard families from narrow lanes near the ruined mosque.

More than 860,000 people have now fled the city since the war to recapture it began on 17 October last year. Thousands of residents have returned to the now liberated east, but an estimated 100,000 more are thought to remain in Mosul’s old city, where vengeful, cornered members of Isis have been using residents as human shields.

“Three more weeks and we’re done with them,” said an Iraqi special operations officer, speaking by phone on Thursday. “We will push them into the Tigris river.”

Earlier in the week, hundreds of civilians streamed past destroyed buildings and into Iraqi controlled territory, their clothes tattered and bodies covered in dust. Mothers clutched malnourished infants across their chests while men carried the elderly on their backs. Some were dragged on makeshift stretchers and others hauled on carts. One after another they collapsed in exhaustion and relief when they reached safety behind Iraqi lines.

As smoke from a recent airstrike loomed in the distance, an old woman dressed in a long black dress ran with hands outstretched toward to two young Iraqi soldiers standing alongside an army Humvee, kissing them on their cheeks. A few metres away a man stood in the middle of the street and cried while holding his young daughter. Tears flowed down his face and through his dark black beard.

“We are seeing these stories of suffering with our own eyes every day,” said the Iraqi officer. “These people have been through hell. And after [the end of Ramadan] we hope to give them their lives back. God willing this curse will soon leave Mosul.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... ping-point
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:54 am

The secret lives of young IS fighters

A report well worth reading:

Three young IS militants lie dead on the banks of the River Tigris.

They left behind personal photos and documents which reveal the extraordinary story of their private lives.

Shows what the might of the US and the coalition are up against:

Mindless fanatical children, who have become so twisted by their warped version of Islam that they truly believe they are doing Mohammad’s bidding and will received their rewards (and 72 virgins) in the afterlife :ymsick:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/is_fighters
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:00 pm

Iraq forces help hundreds of civilians escape Isis-held Mosul as UN warns of 'unimaginable' risk to life

Iraqi forces have opened exit routes for hundreds of people to flee the Old City of Mosul with the United Nations voicing alarm at the rising civilian death toll and the “unimaginable” risks trapped residents face.

Troops are battling to retake the Old City district from Isis fighters mounting a last stand in the final major city they hold in the country.

Urban warfare units have been channelling their onslaught along two perpendicular streets that converge in the heart of the Old City, aiming to isolate the jihadist insurgents in four pockets.

The week-old battle in the Old City is turning into the deadliest of the eight-month US-backed campaign to take back the northern city, which fell to Isis in June 2014.

I saw a young girl with facial injuries walking dazed and shocked across the frontline out of heavily-populated district with a group of neighbours. All her family was killed when their house collapsed, they said.

The United Nations has said as many as 12 civilians were killed and hundreds injured in fighting on Friday.

“Fighting is very intense in the Old City and civilians are at extreme, almost unimaginable risk. There are reports that thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of people are being held as human shields [by Isis],” Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, said in a statement.

“Hundreds of civilians, including children, are being shot.”

Iraqi authorities are hoping to declare victory in the northern Iraqi city in the Muslim Eid holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, during the next few days.

Helicopter gunships were assisting the ground thrust, firing at insurgent emplacements in the Old City. The government advance was carving out escape corridors for civilians marooned behind Isis lines.

There was a steady trickle of fleeing families on Saturday, some with injured and malnourished children. “My baby only had bread and water for the past eight days,” one mother said.

At least 100 civilians reached the safety of a government-held area west of the Old City in one 20-minute period, tired, scared and hungry. Soldiers gave them food and water.

More than 100,000 civilians, of whom half are believed to be children, remain trapped in the crumbling old houses of the Old City, with little food, water or medical treatment.

The urban-warfare forces were leading the campaign to clear the Sunni Islamist militants from the maze of Old City alleyways, moving on foot house-to-house in locations too cramped for the use of armoured combat vehicles.

A US-led international coalition is providing ground and air support in the eight-month-old campaign to seize Mosul, the largest city Isis came to control in a shock offensive in Iraq and neighbouring Syria three years ago.

Iraqi government offensives – supported by the coalition – have wrested back several important urban centres in the country’s west and north from Isis over the past 18 months.

Military analysts said Baghdad’s campaign to recover Mosul gathered pace after the jihadi group blew up the 850-year-old al-Nuri mosque with its famous leaning minaret on Wednesday.

The mosque’s destruction, while condemned by Iraqi and UN authorities as another cultural crime by the jihadists, gave troops more freedom to press their onslaught as they no longer had to worry about damaging the ancient site.

It was from the mosque that Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced himself to the world for the first time as the “caliph”, or ruler of all Muslims, in July 2014. Mosul’s population at the time was more than two million.

Baghdadi fled into the desert expanse extending across Iraq and Syria in the early phase of the Mosul offensive, leaving the fighting there to local Isis commanders, according to US and Iraqi officials. Recent Russian reports that he was killed have not been confirmed by the coalition or Iraqi authorities.

Military analysts said Baghdad’s campaign to recover Mosul gathered pace after the jihadi group blew up the 850-year-old al-Nuri mosque with its famous leaning minaret on Wednesday.

The mosque’s destruction, while condemned by Iraqi and UN authorities as another cultural crime by the jihadists, gave troops more freedom to press their onslaught as they no longer had to worry about damaging the ancient site.

It was from the mosque that Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced himself to the world for the first time as the “caliph”, or ruler of all Muslims, in July 2014. Mosul’s population at the time was more than two million.

Baghdadi fled into the desert expanse extending across Iraq and Syria in the early phase of the Mosul offensive, leaving the fighting there to local Isis commanders, according to US and Iraqi officials. Recent Russian reports that he was killed have not been confirmed by the coalition or Iraqi authorities.

The Iraqi government once hoped to take Mosul by the end of 2016, but the campaign dragged on as Isis reinforced positions in inner-city neighbourhoods of the city’s western half, carried out suicide car and motorbike bomb attacks, laid booby traps and kept up barrages of sniper and mortar fire.

By Saturday, the area still under Isis control was less than two square kilometres (0.77 sq miles), skirting the western bank of the Tigris River that bisects Mosul.

Isis retaliated for government advances on Friday evening with a triple bombing in a neighbourhood in eastern Mosul, which Baghdad’s forces recaptured in January. The attack was carried out by three people who detonated explosive belts, killing five, including three policemen, and wounding 19, according to a military statement on Saturday.

The fall of Mosul would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the so-called-Caliphate as a quasi-state structure, but Isis would still hold sizeable, mainly rural and small-town tracts of both Iraq and Syria.

In eastern Syria, The de facto Isis capital, Raqqa, is now nearly encircled by a US-backed Kurdish-led coalition.

The Iraqi government once hoped to take Mosul by the end of 2016, but the campaign dragged on as Isis reinforced positions in inner-city neighbourhoods of the city’s western half, carried out suicide car and motorbike bomb attacks, laid booby traps and kept up barrages of sniper and mortar fire.

By Saturday, the area still under Isis control was less than two square kilometres (0.77 sq miles), skirting the western bank of the Tigris River that bisects Mosul.

Isis retaliated for government advances on Friday evening with a triple bombing in a neighbourhood in eastern Mosul, which Baghdad’s forces recaptured in January. The attack was carried out by three people who detonated explosive belts, killing five, including three policemen, and wounding 19, according to a military statement on Saturday.

The fall of Mosul would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the so-called-Caliphate as a quasi-state structure, but Isis would still hold sizeable, mainly rural and small-town tracts of both Iraq and Syria.

In eastern Syria, The de facto Isis capital, Raqqa, is now nearly encircled by a US-backed Kurdish-led coalition.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 06661.html

THIS MASSACRE SHOULD NOT BE TAKING PLACE X(

INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE BEING KILLED BY BOTH SIDES
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