Civilian Casualties Grow in Number in Iraq as Battle of Mosul Intensifies

An American volunteer medic treats a wounded Iraqi girl An American volunteer medic treats a wounded Iraqi girl AP

7 December 2016
With the battle of Mosul reaching its peak intensity, the proportion of wounded and killed civilians is ever increasing.

As the Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by the US-led international coalition penetrate into the city of Mosul, most part of which are still controlled by ISIS, the terrorist group tries its best to hold its positions and do the most possible damage to the adversaries. Volunteers and professionals involved in medical and humanitarian operations say that over the past weeks they have been registering a significant growth in the number of civilian casualties, both in absolute and relative terms. Civilians become victims of collateral damage from both sides, they are used as human shield by ISIS fighters and directly targeted by the terrorist group, which does not allow anyone to leave the city. Thus, in a recent attack 15 kids trying to flee the city with their families were killed by ISIS snipers.

The large presence of civilian population used by ISIS, along with an elaborate defence system hinders the advance of the coalition forces. The US Command expects the fierce fighting in Mosul to last at least two more months, so the battle has yet hundreds, if not thousand, more of lives to claim.

According to the UN estimates, over the past two month, more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq. It is stressed that “the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum”.


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