UNHCR shipping aid to Iraqis displaced by Mosul campaign
- Author: Archie Newman Oct 28, 2016,
Oct 28, 2016, 12:13
"This is proceeding on plan, even as Mosul is proceeding on plan".
IS has previously used chemical weapons in attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces, and there are fears that it might do so again inside Mosul, where more than a million civilians live. "They had trimmed their beards and changed their clothes", the former businessman said.
Residents and military officials said many ISIS fighters had relocated within Mosul, moving from the east to their traditional bastions on the western bank of the Tigris river, closer to escape routes to Syria.
Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil said Thursday that his forces were waiting for other fighting units to push up from the south in order to further isolate Mosul before they enter the city.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his British counterpart, Michael Fallon, made the predictions almost 10 days into a U.S. -backed Iraqi offensive on Mosul, the last major Iraqi city under ISIL control.
Holding civilian populations hostage is among the tactics the militants use to waylay advancing forces and complicate the USA -led airstrikes that support them.
The militants forced them to leave their homes with their families and took them to the town of Hammam Al-Alil, 15 km (9 miles) south of Mosul, where the executions took place.
USA defense officials estimate that between 2,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters are now in and around Raqqa, with 1,000 - 2,000 of those in the city itself. But the official noted that Mr. Carter discussed the possibility of allowing Turkish fighters to conduct airstrikes in Iraq as part of the Mosul campaign.
He said Iraqi forces have found homes near Mosul where the lights are wired with explosives that detonate if you flip the switch. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told NBC News that an assault on the terror army's "capital" of Raqqa to push ISIS out for good will only be weeks away.
ISIS is now sending "suicide squads" to Mosul from its symbolic capital of Raqqa in Syria, which the U.S. and coalition forces also plan to try to capture soon.
Lt Gen Stephen Townsend, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said on Wednesday that the coalition forces had delivered more than 2,100 aerial bombs, artillery and mortar shells, rockets and missiles since 17 October.
"They're pulling out all stops", he said, adding that he expects IS forces to mount a similar defense of Raqqa.
It is unclear how many civilians have died in the attack.
"There's no doubt that this great security and military cooperation will be an important beginning and a window to address all the pending issues", al-Hakim said.
"We're definitely better off here".
Erdogan and the Turks suspect that the United States will use its anti-ISIS strategy to promote the Kurdish cause, and perhaps with good reason.
If anything close to 200,000 people are displaced in the immediate future, there would be a major shortage of places in camps.