For more than five weeks Iraqi forces, accompanied by Kurdish peshmerga and Shiite militias, have attacked ISIS positions in and around the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
In recent weeks, the fighting has moved to the outskirts of and neighborhoods in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and the terrorist group’s last stronghold in the country.
In the clip below, a US-led coalition airstrike on November 10 knocks out an ISIS fighting position near the city.
The November 10 strike came about three weeks in the Mosul offensive, and 14 airstrikes on that day and the day prior hit ISIS tactical units, fighting positions, buildings, weapons systems, tunnels, vehicles, and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or car bombs, which have become a frequent sight during the offensive.
Fighting has been heavy in the eastern half of Mosul, which is divided into eastern and western flanks by the Tigris River.
Iraqi forces pushed into that part of the city at the beginning of November, encountering street-to-street fighting with sniper fire and car bombs, made all the more complicated by the constant presence of some of the million or so civilians still in the city.
“If there were no civilians, we’d just burn it all,” Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridhi, a counterterrorism commander, told The Washington Post in early November.
“I couldn’t bomb with artillery or tanks, or heavy weapons. I said, ‘We can’t do anything.’”
The ongoing fighting in and around the city also poses risks to the civilian population.
Retreating ISIS fighters have abducted a number of civilians for use as human shields, and are believed to have summarily executed others, a charge that has also been leveled at Iraqi forces and their partners.
UN officials have said that civilian causalities from the fighting were overwhelming government and international aid groups.
“We are very worried that more and more civilians will be hurt and victimized as the campaign intensifies,” said Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, according to Reuters. “Civilians are not being caught in cross-fire, they are being targeted.”
Civilians in Iraq have also been killed by operations supporting the Iraqi campaign against ISIS.
The US government said in early November that 39 civilians had been killed in 13 strikes since March this year.
Iraqi forces have continued to advance into different neighborhoods as the city, moving cautiously, wary of both civilians in the line of fire and ISIS fighters lying in wait.
Analysts have also warned that the terrorist group, which has deployed chemical weapons numerous times in the past, is likely to do so during the fight for Mosul, which was a hub for production of such weapons.
“And while people remain here, much more will have to endured,” the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville said in a report posted earlier this week. “The fight for Mosul has only just begun.”
You can see the full video of the November 10 strike here.
Het bericht Watch a US-led airstrike destroy an ISIS position as the battle for the group’s last Iraqi stronghold rages verscheen eerst op Business Insider.