The UNHCR (the United Nations refugee agency) issued a statement on Friday, 16th June 2017 that more than 100 thousand Iraqi civilians still trapped by the ISIS (Islamic State) militants in Mosul. It is important that U.S supported offensive operation to regain the Iraqi city Mosul has entered in the 9th month. The statement indicated that “We have confirmed information that ISIS has moved Iraqi civilians with them after leaving Zanjily and other areas where the battle is still on its way.
The UNHCR representative in Iraq Bruno Geddo said in a statement that these civilians are being used as human shields in the Old City of Mosul. He added that it is actually a very severe situation because they are throwing lives of Iraqi civilians towards death. The Iraqi civilians are risking their own lives whether they stay at their homes or they try to flee.
The U.N representative also indicated that the Mosul battle might take some more months because battling in the Old City of Mosul is more difficult and most probably too disastrous, either destruction of properties or loss of lives in this aggressive battle. The Iraqi security forces are moving offensively to regain the entire city of Mosul.
Point to be noted that Mosul had been considered the self-announced capital of Islamic State in Iraq. The battle to retake Mosul was started on 17th October 2016 with the massive amount of air and ground support from the U.S-led International coalition forces. The Iraqi Security forces had regained Eastern area in Mosul in the month of January 2017.
After one month, the battle again started offensively on the Western side of Mosul to enter the historic district of Mosul, the Old City. The entire victory of Mosul would mark the end of at least half of the ISIS power. The leader of ISIS Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi also declared in his speech 3-years ago from a historic mosque in the Old City that ISIS has been covering parts of Iraq and Syria.