US accuses IS of using civilians as human shields in Mosul
As Iraqi and Kurdish forces harden its offensive in Mosul city, US has accused Islamic State of using civilians as Human Shields. President Barrack Obama has warned of a significant” potential displacement as the offensive for the Iraqi city progresses. The battle has so far focused on the villages surrounding the city which are largely Kurdish. Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis corroborated the reporters’ account of IS using civilians as human shields. He said IS had kept nearly 1.5 million people of Mosul from escaping for weeks.
“We know they are being used as human shields, absolutely,” Davis said.
Obama warned of ‘significant’ displacement in the coming though there weren’t any significant exodus in the recent past. According to the reports United Nations have prepared new refugee sites outside Mosul to accommodate displaced people. The UN is expecting around 200,000 people to be displaced around the first week of offensive.
Reports say that government and Kurdish forces are still 20 to 30 kms away from the city which is Sunni dominated. They are still besieging Qaraqosh Iraq’s biggest Christian town before war. The coalition of Peshmerga fighters name for Kurd personnel and Iraqi forces. The estimates of IS militants inside Mosul vary which they have occupied for the last two years. Army officials fear IS may attempt to use rudimentary chemical agents to hold on to their power. 10,000 Kurds and 20,000 Iraqi forces are moving in on the city. US led coalition has trained thousands of Iraqi fighters and giving air and artillery cover.