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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 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:48 pm

The tough fight ahead to retake Western Mosul

This past weekend, Iraqi military forces began the assault to retake the western half of Mosul from ISIS in what is expected to be a tough fight.

It took Iraqi military forces 100 days of street-to-street fighting to finally retake the eastern half of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, but U.S. military officials anticipate that the fight to retake the western side of the city could be even more difficult.

The western side of Mosul, on the left bank of the Tigris River, is more densely populated than the eastern side and it is believed that ISIS fighters will take advantage of the narrow streets to slow down the Iraqi military offensive.

Here's a look at how the second phase of the battle for Mosul could shape up.

A Tough Fight in Western Mosul

"We do expect it to be an extraordinarily difficult fight" Col. John Dorrian, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told Pentagon reporters Wednesday. "The enemy has not given up."

According to Dorrian, the U.S. military believes that between 1,000 and 3,000 ISIS fighters are currently in western Mosul hiding among an estimated 750,000 civilians remaining in the city.

"We do expect it to be a very tough fight because the very narrow areas, the very narrow streets in some parts of the city, the ancient parts of the city, are going to make for a very tough going," said Dorrian.

The narrow streets will limit the Iraqi military's ability to use vehicles in their assault on the city.

But they will also likely prevent ISIS from launching the deadly suicide car bomb attacks it used to slow down the Iraqi military in eastern Mosul. The car bomb attacks resulted in significant casualties among the Iraqi military's elite Counter Terrorism Service that was doing most of the intense fighting in eastern Mosul.

Iraqi military forces are expected to face even tougher ISIS resistance in western Mosul. Dorrian noted that there were roughly 100,000 buildings in eastern Mosul that had to be cleared by the Iraqi military and that there are a similar number of buildings on the western side of the city in an even more compressed area.

Dorrian said Iraqi forces will face a tough fight because each of "these buildings have to be cleared from rooftop level through every room, every closet, all the way down to ground level, including the tunnels that get dug between buildings."

"It's very, very dangerous and tedious, and the Iraqi security forces have done a really good job of protecting civilians as they've conducted those clearing operations and that's something we expect them to continue." said Dorrian.

What Will the Offensive Look Like?

The offensive for western Mosul has begun with Iraqi forces pressing northward to the southern stretches of the city. In the three days since the start of the offensive, they have already taken back 48 square miles and are now overlooking the city's airport.

It is expected that the Iraqi military will face tougher ISIS resistance in the fight for the airport.

The offensive is being led by the Iraqi Army's Ninth Division and the Iraqi Federal Police who are leading the offensive into western Mosul. It was the emergence of the Iraqi Federal Police in late December that helped turn the tide in eastern Mosul. It is expected that forces from the Counter Terrorism Service will once again play a key role in the push into western Mosul.

For months, Shiite militias have pushed northwest of the city to cut off the main road from Mosul to Tal Afar, another ISIS-controlled city. They are there to block the escape of ISIS fighters to that city.

With the Tigris River to the east blocking possible escape routes as well, ISIS fighters will be effectively encircled in the city's western half.

The battle for Mosul has also led American troops to come closer to combat situations even though they are still required to be at Iraqi unit headquarters beyond enemy lines.

Those restrictions have been less applicable to American special operations forces accompanying their Iraqi counterparts, since those Iraqi commanders are always close to the front lines.

But Dorrian explained Wednesday that other American advisers working with commanders of regular Iraqi Army units are "close enough to direct the battle,” he said, adding: " I don't want to give you the impression they're far removed from the front.”

Americans were close enough at times, Dorrian said, that they took enemy fire and found themselves in a combat situation where they had to fight back. He would not disclose whether any American forces had been wounded by enemy fire in such situations.

American advisers assisting in calling in airstrikes targeting ISIS are also closer to the battlefield. "They're not removed from the front, they're very close to the front, close enough to observe what's going on and provide good advice and assistance,” said Dorrian.

It remains unclear if the fight to retake western Mosul will be helped by additional U.S. support that the Trump administration will soon begin to consider.

On Jan. 28, President Trump tasked the Pentagon to lead a review of the strategy against ISIS and to look for new ways to speed up the fight against the terror group. A Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that the options could be presented to the White House early next week.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/tou ... d=45666468
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:52 pm

Civilians start fleeing homes after west Mosul offensive begins

A few hundred civilians have fled their homes in the outskirts of western Mosul, the first reported displacement since a U.S.-backed offensive on the jihadists' remaining stronghold there began at the weekend.

A Reuters correspondent saw about 200 women and children being transported on buses by federal police on Wednesday to the town of Hammam al-Alil, some 20 km (12 miles) south of Mosul, where camps have been set up.

They said they had fled heavy bombardment in two villages near Mosul's airport, which is now in the crosshairs of Iraqi forces and could become a close support base for the push deeper into the city.

The federal police and elite Interior Ministry units known as Rapid Response have made quick progress towards western Mosul in a sweep from the south through hilly desert terrain since fighting resumed on Sunday.

They have been advancing so far in sparsely populated areas, but the fighting is expected to get tougher as they enter the city itself and the risk to roughly 750,000 civilians there will rise.

Up to 400,000 people could be displaced from western Mosul where residents are already suffering food and fuel shortages and many markets have closed, according to the United Nations.

Western Mosul contains the old city centre, with its ancient souks, government administration buildings and the mosque from which Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed his self-styled caliphate over parts of Syria and Iraq after rapid advances in 2014.

Islamic State is essentially under siege in western Mosul after being driven out of districts east of the Tigris river in 100 days of heavy fighting that ended a month ago.

About 160,000 civilians have been displaced from the Mosul area since the start of the battle in October, U.N. officials say. Many more people have remained in their homes despite the violence.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/civilians-s ... s/42980682
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:25 am

Iraqi forces offer deal to local ISIS if they kill foreign militants in Mosul

The Iraqi Counter-Terror Service (ICTS) have published an announcement, giving the people of west Mosul advice as Iraqi forces advance on the city and offering a deal for local ISIS fighters.

The six-point announcement reads as follows:

An announcement from the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Force to the people of west of Mosul.

1. Shut your doors and do not allow ISIS militants to take shelter in your houses.

2. If you have weapons, take them up and fight the group's militants. They are weaker than you think.

3. ISIS militants, it is better to surrender than be killed.

4. If any local ISIS member kills a foreign one, he would receive special care from the judiciary.

5. Cooperation between residents of western Mosul with Iraqi armed forces will facilitate and speed up the operation to liberate the area from ISIS. And your suffering under ISIS will come to an end, just like the people of the left coast of Mosul

6. Please reach out to us via our official page on Facebook with the information you have to locate ISIS militants' whereabouts, their weapons, hideouts, headquarters, and drones. We will take into account every single piece of information we receive confidentially.

Iraqi forces launched the offensive to oust ISIS from the western half of the city on February 19. On Thursday morning, they began a major offensive to retake Mosul airport and Ghazlani base on the southern edge of the city.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the eastern half of Mosul liberated on January 24.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/230220171
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:11 pm

Iraqi forces push deeper into western Mosul as civilians flee

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces pushed deeper into western Mosul on Saturday, advancing in several populated southern districts after punching through the defenses of Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq a day earlier.

About 1,000 civilians walked across the frontlines, the largest movement since the new offensive launched last week to deal the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim group a decisive blow.

In the capital Baghdad, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the first such visit in more than a decade between Sunni Muslim-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-led Iraq.

The new push in Mosul comes after government forces finished clearing Islamic State from the east of the city last month, confining the insurgents to the western sector across the Tigris river.

Commanders expect the battle there to be more difficult, in part because tanks and armored vehicles cannot pass through the narrow alleyways that crisscross ancient districts.

But Iraqi forces have so far made quick advances on multiple fronts, capturing the northern city's airport on Thursday, which they plan to use as a support zone, and breaching a three-meter high berm and trench set up by Islamic State.

The advancing forces are less than three kilometers (two miles) from the mosque where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria in 2014, sparking an international military campaign to defeat the group.

Losing Mosul would likely deal a hammer blow to the militants' dream of statehood, but they still control territory in Syria and patches of northern and western Iraq from where they could fight a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plot attacks on the West.

Federal police and an elite Interior Ministry unit known as Rapid Response have recaptured Hawi al-Josaq along the river and begun clearing the Tayyaran district north of the airport, said Brigadier General Hisham Abdul Kadhim.

Islamic State resisted with snipers and roadside bombs, he said. A Reuters correspondent saw two militants' corpses outside a mosque in Josaq.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS

Counter-terrorism forces also pushed on two fronts toward Wadi Hajr and Mamoun districts, said Lieutenant General Abdelwahab al-Saadi, a senior commander.

"Clearing operations are ongoing and our forces have entered those areas," he told Reuters on a hill overlooking the battle. Saadi said a suicide car bomb had been destroyed before reaching its target. The militants also launched mortars.

A Mamoun resident reached by phone said militant fighters had flooded the area in recent days while moving their families to relative safety in other districts.

Islamic State broadcast messages via mosque loudspeakers in some areas encouraging locals to resist the "infidels' attack" while elsewhere they threatened to kill anyone who refused to retreat deeper into the city, according to several residents.

A woman forced to leave Wadi Hajr district said the militants had climbed to her roof and knocked holes in the walls in order to move undetected.

Several thousand militants, including many who traveled from Western countries to join up, are believed to be holed up in the city with practically nowhere to go, which could lead to a fierce standoff amid a population of 750,000.

Ziyad, a 16-year-old living in Hawi al-Josaq, told a Reuters correspondent he had seen foreign IS militants withdraw as Iraqi forces advanced, leaving only local fighters behind.

"They were really scared," he said. "They were calling to each other and saying, 'Let's go'."

Abu Laith, 49, said he overheard disagreements between local and foreign fighters.

"(The locals) said, 'Tomorrow you will withdraw and we will be under the hammer'. (The foreigners) said, 'That's your problem. We are not in charge, the order is from the caliph'."

Iraq's counter-terrorism service put a statement online last week offering leniency to local fighters who killed foreigners, though the legal framework for such a deal was unclear.

A police spokesman said a Russian member of Islamic State had been captured on Wednesday near Mosul airport.

The Iraqi campaign involves a 100,000-strong force of Iraqi troops, Shi'ite militias and Sunni tribal fighters backed by a U.S.-led coalition that provides vital air support as well as on-the-ground guidance and training.

Western advisors are increasingly present close to the frontline, helping coordinate air strikes and advising Iraqi forces as the battle unfolds.

Kurdish journalist Shifa Gardi was killed by a roadside bomb on Saturday while covering the battle.

CIVILIANS START TO FLEE

About a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, walked out of southwestern parts of Mosul on Saturday and climbed into military trucks taking them to camps further south.

The United Nations says up to 400,000 people may have to leave their homes during the new offensive as food and fuel runs out in western Mosul. Aid groups warned on Friday that the most dangerous phase of the offensive was about to begin.

Some of the people fleeing Mamoun said they were originally from Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul, but were forced to move as Islamic State retreated north into the city four months ago.

"They began shelling us arbitrarily, so we hid in the bathrooms. When the security forces came, they yelled to us so we fled to them," said civilian Mahmoud Nawwaf.

The government is encouraging residents to stay in their homes whenever possible, as they did in eastern Mosul where fewer people fled than expected.

A Reuters correspondent near the airport saw nine families living in a house where residents with full beards served trays of tea to security forces. Some said Islamic State had forced them to move from Samarra, 250 km (160 miles) south of Mosul.

Abu Naba, 37, said he was surprised how quickly the militants had been driven out.

"We could hear their voices outside and 15 minutes later they were gone," he said.

A woman with a baby wrapped in a blanket on her lap said she had given birth in the house 22 days ago because it was too dangerous to reach a hospital.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-midea ... SKBN16409B
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Benny » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:30 am

Interesting to read about the tension between local and foreign fighters. This is not something that we hear about, the reports in the West have generally- at least in my opinion- been about this invincible winning machine of the islamists.

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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:20 pm

In Mosul, a long-term battle to repair Iraq's heritage

The city of Mosul is intertwined with human history, tracing its roots to 4,400 years ago when civilisation rose in fabled, fertile Mesopotamia.

Today, as Iraqi forces backed by an international coalition inch forward in their fight to recover Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS) group, historians are looking at how to save, repair or retrieve precious heritage after the jihadists' three-year reign.

At a meeting in Paris last week, Iraqi officials and dozens of experts from around the world agreed to coordinate efforts to restore Iraq's cultural treasure.

But, they admitted, the road ahead will be hard and long.

Image

"The main challenge is for Iraqis to deal with this task by themselves. It is important to empower the people," said Stefan Simon, director of global cultural heritage initiatives at Yale university.

"It is a heart-breaking situation," he added. "(...) Rehabilitation will take a very long time. They need patience. "

In 2014, at the zenith of ISIS' self-declared "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq, more than 4,000 Iraqi archaeological sites were under the heel of the Sunni fanatics.

In the Mosul region alone in northern Iraq, "at least 66 sites were destroyed, some were turned into parking lots, Muslim and Christian places of worship suffered massive destruction and thousands of manuscripts disappeared," Iraq's deputy minister for culture, Qais Rashid, said at the conference, hosted by Unesco.

The most grievous blow has been suffered by the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, believed to be named after the biblical hunter Nimrod.

Eighty percent of the site has been destroyed, by jihadists driving bulldozers and detonating explosives.

Nineveh, once the largest city in the world, has been 70-percent destroyed.

- 'Idolatry' -

As for Mosul itself, historians are quailing at the likely fate of the city's museum, the second largest in Iraq and a treasure house of ancient artefacts.

After suffering looting during the 2003 Iraq War, the museum was on the point of reopening in 2014 when ISIS took over.

The jihadists immediately set about destroying objects from the Assyrian and Greek period, which they claimed promoted "idolatry."

Grim discoveries by the Iraqi army in its advance towards the jihadists' bastion of west Mosul have prompted some specialists to fear the worst.

In mid-January, Iraqi troops in Neneveh liberated the reputed tomb of the Prophet Yunus -- known to Jews and Christians as the Prophet Jonah.

"(It is) far more damaged than we expected," Culture Minister Salim Khalaf said.

The site could collapse, because the jihadists dug tunnels underneath, both to hide from attack and to dig for artefacts, he explained.

More than 700 items have been looted from the site to be sale on the black market, he estimated.

Iraq is turning to Interpol and other world agencies to track down the lost treasures. Under UN Security Council resolution 2199, all trade in cultural artefacts from Iraq and Syria is illegal.

"Daesh tried but will never erase our culture, identity, diversity, history and the pillars of civilisation," Iraqi Education Minister Mohammad Iqbal Omar said, referring to another name for IS, also called ISIS or ISIL.

France Desmarais, of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), a professional museum group, said there was a long and tragic history of trafficking in cultural objects from northern Iraq.

However, "successive wars in Iraq since 2003 have created additional opportunities" for the trade, Desmarais said.

- Universal values -

The long-term needs of preserving Iraq's ancient history are many. They start with securing and monitoring sites, drawing up an inventory of items that are safe or missing, restoring and digitising manuscripts -- a task that is dozens of years in the making, and with a bill to match.

But culture embodies universal values, and there is a deep well of goodwill for this venture.

"Culture implies more than just monuments and stones -- culture defines who we are," says Unesco chief Irina Bokova.

That's a point of view shared by Najeeb Michaeel, an Iraqi Dominican monk who saved hundreds of manuscripts from the 13th to 18th century, spiriting them to safety in Kurdistan just before IS began its destructive grip on the plain of Nineveh.

"We have to save both man and culture," Michaeel said. "You cannot save the tree without saving its roots."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/ar ... itage.html
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:20 pm

Battle for west Mosul: Bombs 'fall like rain' on front line

This weekend as many as 2,500 residents of Mosul escaped from the western half of a city that has been under the yoke of so-called Islamic State (ISIS) for almost three years.

Aid agencies estimate that there are approximately 750,000 civilians trapped in western Mosul, unable or too frightened to leave despite the very real prospect of a prolonged, intense battle over the city between Iraqi government forces and ISIS fighters.

The assault on western Mosul has, thus far, been largely as expected - a much better equipped and better trained Iraqi army than the one humiliated by ISIS in 2014, methodically pushing towards the edge of the city thanks to overwhelming fire power and the cover of coalition air strikes.

For all their brutality and intolerance, ISIS fighters are nothing if not ingenious and in recent days they have been deploying a battle tactic almost unprecedented in modern urban warfare - the use of commercially available drones to drop bombs and grenades against civilian and military targets.

Large military drones are, of course, used to devastating effect by armies all over the Middle East, often resulting in huge loss of life. But the frequency and accuracy of how the Islamic State group is utilising small, relatively unsophisticated drones in Mosul has significantly slowed the advance of government forces.

The drones have also caused panic among the civilian population, including residents of eastern Mosul. That part of the city was recaptured from IS last month during the first part of a campaign to drive the Islamists from their last stronghold in Iraq.

At a hospital in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil I met 55-year-old Umm Mohammed. The mother of seven, from the eastern side of Mosul, was sitting up in her bed, attached to a drip and unable to rest because of the searing pain from her right leg.

It had been shattered in several places by a grenade or small bomb dropped from a drone.

"I'd just gone to the market for some shopping... The next thing I was lying on the ground and looking up. People started pointing up to the sky from where the bomb had come," she told me. "Where's the security when these machines are hovering over people and killing us?"

Psychological effects

The use of drones, with their relatively light payloads, will not change the course of this conflict.

There are much more expensive, lethal and sophisticated weapons being deployed each day in their thousands.

Yet the psychological impact of drone attacks cannot be discounted, says Emanuele Nannini from the Italian aid agency Emergency, which helps run the hospital where Umm Mohammed and several other drone victims are being treated.

"Physically they are very similar to a mortar attack but actually they are very precise," Mr Nannini tells me, as he supervises a rapid expansion of the hospital beds and wards in anticipation of the battle unfolding in western Mosul.

"So each of these drones is actually striking the target that was chosen. Psychologically it can be very bad for the population because they can strike at any moment and at any place."

The residents of eastern Mosul are, ironically, getting a brief respite from the drone attacks because ISIS militants have diverted their attention to the new front line to the south and west of the city.

A colleague who returned from reporting duties at the front over the weekend told me in graphic terms that it was "almost raining bombs" - such was the frequency and intensity of the drone attacks on forces trying to enter the city.

Again, it's important to emphasise the overwhelming military and numerical advantage that Iraqi military units have over their ISIS enemies.

They are also getting considerable help from their American and other coalition allies.

"The fight in Mosul would be a huge challenge for any army, but this battle is only going to end with one result," says Lieutenant Colonel John Hawbaker, commander of the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry.

American "advisers" and troops are a common sight on and just behind the front line and at forward command bases, assisting and advising their Iraqi counterparts.

But, as Lt Col Hawbaker readily acknowledges, American soldiers - so-called "boots on the ground" - are seeing action where it is deemed appropriate.

At the base I visited a few kilometres back from the western edge of Mosul, huge American artillery pieces fired shells at ISIS positions in and around the besieged city.

Image

The day before, the gunners told me, they'd had the busiest period yet in this conflict, lobbing hundreds of shells at distinctive targets picked out by their own spotters and much more sophisticated "eyes in the sky", or surveillance drones.

The state of the art US weaponry will be of less use as the battle moves into the narrow, winding streets of Mosul itself.

On the first day of real fighting inside the western zone, government troops reported encountering "dozens" of booby-trapped car bombs. Some of them were successfully defused but others exploded, killing and wounded several Iraqi soldiers.

It's also thought that, in another example of drones adapted for urban warfare, IS militants are using the small aircraft to guide suicide car bombers to their targets.

Amid the chaos and mayhem, Mosul's civilian residents are being exposed to unimaginable daily horrors.

American and Iraqi generals say the fighting will be "house-to-house" in buildings where ISIS militants have deliberately placed themselves among the civilian population and in which they have constructed an elaborate network of tunnels to move themselves and their weapons.

Outside the city, aid workers wait nervously. The UN refugee agency is building new camps, just to the south, preparing to receive as many as 250,000 internally displaced people.

The real concern, as one UN aid official told me, is that most of the population won't able to escape, that they'll be trapped inside Mosul until the fighting finishes, the guns fall silent and Islamic State is defeated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39099388
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:39 pm

How many NON-COMBATANTS have been slaughtered?

Who has SLAUGHTERED the most people?

Who has INJURED and MAIMED the most people?

Who has KILLED the most defenseless animals?

Who has DESTROYED the most property and homes?

Who REALLY thinks this SLAUGHTER and DESTRUCTION should actually be allowed to take place?

People have forgotten the way the Shia treated the Sunni in Mosul

People have forgotten that the Sunni welcomed ISIS into Mosul as their saviours

In my mind ISIS are as much saviours as the 'Saviours' in the TV epic 'The Walking Dead'

The Shia fled Mosul, as did a great many Sunni, when ISIS moved into Mosul

The difference being that many THOUSANDS of Sunni returned to Mosul because they were safer living in Mosul under ISIS control that they were living there under Shia control

Since ISIS took over Mosul many of the Sunni living there have told how they lived in fear of the coalition bombing them while taking the city

Nobody ever asked the Sunni living in Mosul if they wanted to become

LIBERATED CORPSES

Now the liberated Sunni have to give thanks to their so-called liberators because they know what will happen to them if they should any allegiance at all to ISIS - they remember the

SLAUGHTER OF FALLUJAH
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:10 pm

I have just thought of an EXCELLENT punishment for ALL those taking part in the Mosul Massacre

Bedouin had a really nasty way of punishing people - and I firmly believe that all those who kill innocent people deserve the most extreme punishment - bury them leaving only their heads above ground and pour honey over their heads :ymapplause:

Those who kill innocent people - be they Shia - Sunni - ISIS or coalition members - are all MURDERERS and as such they themselves deserve the most terrible of deaths :D
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:00 am

Both ISIS and the coalition have killed innocent animals

Relief at last for the starving animals of Mosul!

    Vets from charity Four Paws arrived at the Iraqi zoo to treat the lion and bear
    The animals were sedated and checked over by the medical professionals
    In February, it was revealed that the pair were the only animals left in the zoo

While the city was under the control of ISIS, the zoo was targeted by coalition bombers.

Most of the animals were killed by stray shrapnel and shells or left to starve by ISIS.

But now the two emaciated animals left are receiving medical help from aid workers who have come to rescue them.

A veterinary team from charity Four Paws has started treating animals at the Mumtaz al-Nour zoo in eastern Mosul, Iraq today.

Based in Vienna, Austria, the organisation sends aid workers worldwide to rescue bears, big cats and stray animals.

Local volunteers fed a bear with apples and cleaned out the filthy cages while medical professionals.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that only a bear and a lion were left in the former tourist attraction.

The malnourished animals were found by volunteers close to their former enclosures in Nour Park.

During the conflict, a shell hit a monkey cage, letting the animals wreak havoc on neighbours.

Faten Amar, who lives across the road, said: 'The monkeys were jumping on the houses, scaring the children and stealing the fruit.

'Ducks and other animals were running around, the whole neighborhood had to run around trying to catch them.'

In shocking images, the animals stare blankly out of their cages.

The vets have to anaesthetise the animals so they can check them over.

A local volunteer is pictured feeding the lion a dead bird. The starving animal's paw is outstretched in anticipation.

In its heyday, the zoo boasted four lions. After the first two died, the surviving animals ate their carcasses.

Earlier this month, owner Abu Omar said: 'When the battle intensified, it was impossible for the guard and animal handler to reach them.'

Saif al-Bassef, a volunteer sent by the Kurdistan Organisation for Animal Rights, brought the first substantial food for a month. 'It's shameful to watch the animals struggle, they need help. They are not connected to the war,' he said.

The park, which also features colorful children's rides, sits in the eastern half of the city that has recently been retaken by Iraqi forces.

Groups of children jump around in the ruins of the playground, not far from an unexploded bomb and a disused freezer full of ordnance.

Before aid workers could relieve the starving animals, children came to the zoo to feed the lion and bear.

But there is little food for the animals in a city where the population are starving.

The zoo sits in the eastern part of the city that was recently liberated by Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

The animals were also being fed by the Kurdistan Organization for Animal Rights Protection earlier in the month.

Link to Article - Photos:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... l-zoo.html
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:22 pm

New Mosul refugee camp 'full in a week', say aid agencies

Thousands of civilians are fleeing the besieged city of Mosul as Iraqi and coalition forces try to defeat so-called Islamic State which has occupied the city for almost three years.

phpBB [video]


TAKE NOTE:

The vast majority of people fleeing from Mosul have been doing so SINCE the coalition has decided to LIBERATE the people of Mosul

Perhaps the people of Mosul did not want to remain in Mosul to become LIBERATED CORPSES
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:24 am

The Iraqi government GAVE Mosul to ISIS

In my valued judgment both Fallujah and Mosul should have been left alone

There is NO excuse for the killing of innocent people X(

It achieves NOTHING apart from lots of death and destruction

It will also INCREASE the rift between the Sunni and the Shia

Eventually the coalition will manage to kill enough people - innocent and otherwise - to remove ISIS from Mosul

What will happen to all the innocent people have lost their homes, their businesses and their way of generating an income?

How will the, mostly Sunni, inhabitants of Mosul be treated by treated by the Shia - I hate to think :-s

What will happen to any ISIS fighters who survive the slaughter:
    will they surrender to the Shia government?
    will they disperse throughout Iraq and Syria?
    will they join other jihadist groups?
    will some of them go to other countries?
    will they punish coalition countries?
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:54 am

Civilians feared killed in 'air strike' on mosque

Civilians are feared dead in an attack that damaged a mosque and nearby homes in a part of the Iraqi city of Mosul controlled by so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

Witnesses told the BBC that the Omar al-Aswad mosque in the Farouq district of the old city was hit from the air.

Drones belonging to the Iraqi police and US-led coalition bombers were flying overhead at the time, they said.

A coalition spokesman told Reuters he was unaware of a strike on the mosque.

The news agency also cited Iraqi military media officers as saying the battle for the city was continuing and that troops were targeting ISIS positions wherever they could. However, it added, they did not say whether the mosque was among those targeted.

Three residents told Reuters the mosque was run by ISIS, and that both militants and civilians were killed. They could not give precise casualty figures because their movements were restricted.

The mosque is in the old city, close to the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the creation of a caliphate in July 2014 after his group seized control of large swathes of northern and western Iraq.

The reported attack comes as fighting intensifies between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces advancing into south-western Mosul after recapturing the east of the city.

ISIS militants are resisting the onslaught with suicide car bombs, sniper and mortar fire, and reportedly launched a counter-attack during an overnight storm.

The Iraqi government says at least 26,000 civilians have fled in the past 11 days.

There is also deep concern for the up to 700,000 who remain there. Food supplies are running very low, and some families say they cannot find any food at all.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39140882
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:45 pm

Iraqi forces push into deadliest areas of Mosul as civilian exodus accelerates

Troops said to be close to government buildings near old city, and aid agencies struggling to accomodate displaced people

Nearly three weeks into the last phase of the battle for Mosul, Iraqi forces have started pushing into the most heavily fortified and lethal corners of the crumbling city.

This weekend the battles in the city, the Islamic State’s last urban stronghold in Iraq, were some of the most intensive yet. Maj Gen Haider al-Maturi, of the federal police commandos division, said Isis militants had dispatched at least six suicide car bombs, which were all destroyed before reaching troops. He said the militants were moving from house to house and deploying snipers.

A statement released by Iraqi Rapid response teams said units were “very close” to the government buildings near the old city. It added that units had captured the Danadan district, south-east of the complex, while US-trained counter-terrorism service units pushed through the Tal al-Ruman and Somood districts, in the south-west.

As the fighting has intensified, so too has the displacement of west Mosul residents, with more than 45,000 fleeing in the past week – a higher number than expected.

The pace has accelerated in recent days as the fighting approached the most densely populated parts of west Mosul, and aid agencies have expressed concern that camps to accommodate people fleeing the city are almost full.

The International Organisation for Migration’s Mosul displacement tracking matrix showed the number of people uprooted since the start of the offensive in October exceeded 206,000 on Sunday, up from 164,000 a week earlier.

The number may still rise sharply. Up to 650,000 civilians are thought to remain in the city, and their exodus would strain resources, especially as a short spring turns into a long, hot desert summer.

Civilians who fled on Sunday ran the gauntlet of snipers and explosions in the ruins of neighbourhoods on the edge of the government zone, where Iraqi forces are pressing their offensive. Men and boys were forced to remove their shirts as they ran from Isis territory towards Iraqi military positions.

Ahead of the troops is a labyrinth of tunnels and fortifications prepared over the past two years. Above that area is the Nouri mosque, a key emblem of the terror group’s control of Mosul, where the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made his one and only public appearance in mid-2014 to proclaim himself caliph. Intelligence agencies believe the area around the mosque has remained important to senior Isis leaders.

Before the push to retake the city, Baghdadi was an occasional visitor to the mosque, an intelligence chief told the Guardian earlier this year. Since then he has remained to the north-west of the city, moving in a band between the Iraqi villages of al-Ba’aj and Billij, the border town of Bukamal and the Syrian town of Shedada.

Much of the senior Isis leadership is believed to have abandoned Mosul, leaving its defence to up to 5,000 battle-hardened ideologues, who have laid multiple ambush points, house bombs and booby-traps in the narrow roads and lanes, which are impassable to armoured vehicles.

Also playing out as expected is the unrestrained savagery of the extremist group’s fightback, which has included widespread use of human shields and suicide bombers and, according to medics, the use of chemical weapons.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said a chemical attack by Isis last week killed several people and maimed at least seven more. Residents in the already cleared east Mosul neighbourhood where the attack took place said at least five rockets or mortars struck the area at around 3pm on 26 February. One witness spoke of a strong odour and said several victims had severe burns.

A woman was taken to Rozhawa hospital in Erbil with severe blistering. She told medics that a rocket had hit her house in an area that had been declared safe in early February.

Isis used chemical weapons earlier in the war, firing shells containing chlorine and other chemicals at Kurdish troops to the north of the city. It has also been accused by the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons of using mustard gas against a rebel community in northern Syria early last year.

That attack caused symptoms similar to those experienced by victims in the latest strike. However, there has been no determination yet of what agent was used. “This is horrible,” said the UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande. “If the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed, this is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime.”

Even with the foothold established by Iraqi forces, recapturing the rest of the city is unlikely to happen in the next two months, according to an Iraqi general. “We are well prepared for this,” he said. “But so are they. This is our most difficult fight. It will be hard to win it without a lot of damage and casualties.

“There was a road to the west that we expected to see them flee to. Some have and have been rounded up. But not as many as we thought. The rest want to stay and die.”

The operation to retake Mosul officially began in October after more than two years of slowly clawing back territory from Isis militants. The terror group overran nearly a third of Iraq – including Mosul, the country’s second largest city – in the summer of 2014.

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

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:06 pm

Terror on the Mosul front line
(Writing by Julia Glover; Editing by John Stonestreet)

Image

Both screaming in terror, a father and the young daughter he cradled in his arm fled through the rubble-strewn streets of Wadi Hajar, transformed in a flash into a battleground between Islamic State fighters and Iraqi special forces.

They and their neighbours - some wearing rubber sandals, some barefoot - were running from an IS counter-attack in this part of Mosul, dodging gunfire as the militants closed in.

When they reached the special forces lines, males were ordered to lift their shirts to prove they weren't suicide bombers. Some had to take off their clothes or show their belts, though not those carrying children.

It's become a common tactic for the militants to use suicide bombers, and the soldiers were firing their guns in the air to try to slow the residents down, shouting at them in Arabic.

For pictures of Wadi Hajar on Iraq's front line: http://reut.rs/2mxacn0

A day earlier, Iraqi troops used bulldozers to move cars into a makeshift barricade aimed at protecting residents from suicide attacks in the area.

Civilians have been displaced in greater numbers in recent days, as the fighting in and around IS's last strongholds in Mosul rages in residential neighbourhoods where water, food and power have been rationed for months.

The father was so beside himself, so panicked. It was obvious because he had a short shirt on and was carrying a child that he wasn’t Islamic State. I believe they will both be taken to a refugee camp.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/20 ... ront-line/
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