New reports released this week claim the fighting between ISIS and the national Iraqi forces over western Mosul have escalated and left over a half a million civilians trapped in the ugly crossfire.
Multiple media outlets have estimated that upwards of 600,000 people still remain trapped in the Old City, the second largest city in Mosul and one of ISIS’s hubs.
— Aris Messinis (@ArisMessinis) March 19, 2017
As thousands still try to find the financial means to get out, conditions continue to deteriorate and reports continue to stress that the growing tension between national forces and Iraqi soldiers continue to grow and as a consequence to the chaos many citizens have been left hungry and scared to leave their homes.
Western Mosul resident Khaled Meshaal told reporters that, “We have been under siege for more than six months on this side” of Mosul. Adding that, “We bought food four times but we finished it all, there was nothing left.”
In addition to the lack of food, humanitarian officials have stated that there is an increase number of trauma related cases in recent weeks due to the deadly battle between both the military and the extremist.
A statement released by the World Humanitarian Organization (WHO) an international relief group focused on providing relief and aid across the world, they confirmed that the need is growing. Spelling out that, they have airlifted fifteen ambulances to Iraq to help with the growing number of trauma cases.
The vehicles are fully equipped and staffed by trained paramedics and will travel between field hospitals located in Athba, Hamam Aleel and Bartalla and the front lines.
Two years ago ISIS first gained control over Mosul, but during the past six months national forces have made strong strides in gaining the large land area back in their control.
In an eastern Mosul press conference, Defense Military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool estimated that roughly 60 percent of western mosul is free from ISIS. However, places like the Old City is still under ISIS control and a civilian population begging to get out.
So far the the gains can be seen at every turn. Rasool saying,”we are a few hundred meters from the mosque now, we are advancing on al-Nuri. We know it means a lot to Daesh (ISIS).”
Adding in that, capturing the mosque would be a huge symbolic prize and a strategic gain for the government.
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