Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Iraq: Islamic State Group To Hold Only 10% Of Mosul-west

Iraqi forces have taken over 90% of the territory of Mosul-West to the Islamic State (IS) group. It seems to be on the verge of a total defeat in the second city of the country, officials of the international coalition said on Tuesday (May 16th).

The Islamic State (IE) group controls only "  10.5%  " of the west of Mosul, the big city of northern Iraq, said on 16 May at a press conference in Baghdad, General Yahya Rassoul, spokesman for the command of the joint operations of the Iraqi forces.

Sergeant Mohamed Ali Karim of the Iraqi Rapid Intervention Division testifies to the difficulty of the fighting: "We have succeeded in breaking through their lines. It was 2 in the morning. We went home by the house. We fought all night... at one point there was heavy rain. But thank God, in the end, we were victorious. The two districts, that of the old town and that of July 17, are still controlled by Daech, these two quarters will be the tomb of the jihadists. "

"The final battle" is played in the old town

"It was here that Daech was born,  he continues," in the old town, and it is there that his fighters have fortified themselves. The final battle will be played here.  The narrow streets make it difficult for the Iraqi forces to advance; They are forced to move on foot rather than on armored vehicles as they have in other circumstances.

The presence of a large population of civilians in the old town, who chose to remain there or who were prevented by the IE from leaving it, also complicates the final assault to retake the entire city. If coalition air strikes have helped the Iraqi forces to move forward against the jihadists, they have also claimed hundreds of civilian casualties. The Pentagon recently announced that coalition strikes have killed 352 civilians by mistake since 2014 in Iraq and neighboring Syria where the war is raging. But their number would be higher according to groups of defense of the rights of the man.

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