More than 100,000 civilians are trapped in the streets of Mosul where ISIS uses them as human shields to slow down the progress of the Iraqi army and the coalition.
While the battle began a few days ago to take over Raqqa, the stronghold of the Islamic state group in Syria, another battle, that of Mosul, is continuing in Iraq. It has lasted nine months now and the UN is alarmed about the plight of the civilians. The United Nations estimates that they are more than 100,000 trapped in the city, used as human shields by the EI.
It is the last bastion of the Islamic state in Mosul: three square kilometers of winding alleys and destroyed houses. The jihadists know that the thousands of civilians trapped in the old city will slow down Iraqi troops on the verge of launching an assault. The inhabitants are therefore ordered to remain. On several occasions, the jihadi have killed those who have tried to escape and break the ban by crossing the front.
Hunger and thirst. The thousands of men, women and children who remain trapped at home face another enemy: hunger. The inhabitants live on provisions that are dwindling or are requisitioned by the fighters of the Islamic State. There is a shortage of drinking water and local sources report that only wheat grains and canned tomatoes are left to eat.
To the physical weakness is added the pressure of the jihadists. They come to dig holes in the ground to create tunnels. They are also snipers who post themselves on the upper floors of a house when several families are gathered on the ground floor. For the Islamic State group, the objective is twofold: to protect themselves from enemy strikes, but also to put the blame on the Iraqi army and the coalition for the death if civilians.