#MosulSOS: Civilians Become Collateral Damage in US Coalition Anti-ISIS Strikes
Hundreds of thousands of civilians in western Mosul are at risk of becoming casualties as the US-led coalition and Iraqi military wage their operation against Islamic State. RT sheds light on their plight.
The #MosulSOS project gathers all of RT’s coverage of the deadly siege that began seven months ago.
Constantly at risk of being killed by US-led coalition airstrikes and the fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants, the civilians of Mosul are facing a dire humanitarian crisis.
“This population is not only exposed to the immediate dangers of the conflict itself and being either targeted or hit as collateral damage, but is also facing the effects of just no longer really having much access to the basic essentials that they need to live,” Patrick Hamilton, Red Cross deputy director for the Middle East, said last week.
Hundreds of civilians died throughout the offensive to retake the city of 1.5 million from the terrorist group.
In the deadliest single incident, up to 278 civilians, many of them children, were killed in a coalition airstrike in the al-Jadida neighborhood on March 17.
Amnesty International said hundreds of civilians have been killed by airstrikes inside their homes or in places where they sought refuge, after Iraqi government advice not to leave during the operation to recapture the city.
While the US acknowledges only 352 civilian deaths in both Iraq and Syria since its campaign against IS started, some monitors put the death toll at up to 5,281 in the two countries.
According to Airwars monitor group, coalition actions in Iraq have led to between 1,366 and 1,991 reported deaths in some 165 incidents.
The Iraqi military says it is reaching the final stage of the battle to free the northern city from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists. Backed by the US-led coalition, the Iraqi Army is engaging in house-to-house fighting in neighborhoods under militant control, where IS is taking advantage of the narrow streets and dense population.
Up to 350,000 people remain trapped in IS-held neighborhoods, according to the UN. Most of them are trapped in the Old City.
The military operation against IS in the embattled city of Mosul began on October 17, 2016. IS captured the city in 2014.
The coalition forces outnumbered the terrorists by at least 10 times, had air support from the US and its allies.
The terrorists used car bombs, snipers firing from the city, surprise hit-and-run attacks and weaponized civilian drones to deter the attackers.
Some 630,000 Mosul residents have been forced to flee the fighting as the campaign continues.