Sponsored by:

Sections
 U.S. News
 World News
 Michigan News
 Strange News
 Business/Finance
 Health
 Politics/Elections
 Science
 Sports
 Travel
 Technology


Entertainment
 Entertainment
 Events
 Music Reviews
 Movie Reviews
 Recipes & Menus


Sports
 BlogCentral
 Lions/NFL
 Pistons/NBA
 Red Wings/NHL
 Tigers/MLB
 College Football
 College Basketball
 Golf
 NASCAR Racing
 Tennis

Video & Photos
 Video & Photo Sharing
 Photos to Buy

Classifieds
 Classifieds

 Cars

Advertisements
 Newspaper Ads
 Special Sections


General Info
 About Us
 Subscribe
 Place A Classified
 How To Advertise




 



 PISTONS/NBA

MICENTRALSPORTS.COM “brought to you by the Michigan Newspaper Network”  

Jun 18, 3:36 PM EDT

Iraqi troops launch battle for last IS stronghold in Mosul


AP Photo
AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Multimedia
Last U.S. combat troop leaves Iraq
Iraqi Election 2010: What's at Stake?
Returning Troops Find Alternative Motivations
U.S. Troop Casualties in Iraq
Related Stories
Swiss journalist dies of Mosul mine blast injuries

Journalist dies of wounds from blast in Iraq's Mosul

Iraqis: IS blew up mosque in 'formal declaration of defeat'

Iran begins exporting gas to Iraq

UN says IS targets children to hold Mosul civilians hostage

Interactive
Iraqi Communities in the U.S.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- U.S.-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Islamic State stronghold in Mosul on Sunday, launching a major battle for the Old City where some 150,000 civilians are believed to be trapped and risk being used as human shields by the extremists.

The push for the Old City is the final major fight of an eight-month campaign to drive the militants from Iraq's second largest city. The extremists are expected to make their last stand in the densely populated quarter with narrow, winding alleys.

Iraqi special forces, the regular army and Federal Police are taking part in the operation to retake the Old City, said Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, who commands army operations in Ninevah province.

Iraq state TV aired live footage showing thick black smoke rising from the Old City, with the sound of gunfire rattling inside. It said leaflets were distributed urging civilians to leave through five "safe corridors."

The International Rescue Committee called on Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition to "do everything in their power to keep civilians safe during these final stages of the battle for Mosul."

"With its narrow and winding streets, Iraqi forces will be even more reliant on airstrikes despite the difficulty in identifying civilians sheltering in buildings and the increased risk of civilians being used as human shields by ISIS fighters," said Nora Love, the aid group's acting country director, using another acronym for IS.

The Islamic State group captured Mosul when it swept across northern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014. Iraq launched a massive operation to retake the city last October, and has driven the militants from all but a handful of neighborhoods.

Love warned that the assault on the Old City could lead to even more civilian deaths than the hundreds killed so far in airstrikes across the rest of the city, as "the buildings of the old town are particularly vulnerable to collapse even if they aren't directly targeted."

Those who try fleeing to government-controlled areas risk being caught in the crossfire or targeted by IS snipers, Love added.

Gen. Abdel Ghani al-Asadi, the head of Iraq's special forces, told state TV he expects the extremists to put up a "vicious and tough fight." Al-Asadi said the troops "will be very careful" to protect the civilians.

The Old City is home to the centuries-old al-Nuri mosque, where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a Friday sermon in 2014 as his group declared an Islamic caliphate in the areas it controlled in Syria and Iraq. The militants have lost much of that territory over the last three years, and Mosul is their last urban bastion in Iraq.

Up to 150,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in the Old City, where the militants are using them as human shields, U.N. humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande told The Associated Press on Friday. She said conditions are "desperate," with little food and no clean water.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

 

 

 



Return to your local newspaper...

 Daily Publications


Non-Daily Publications


Niche
Publications/Sites

Home | About Us | Subscribe | Place A Classified | How To Advertise
MICENTRAL.COM is a network of Michigan newspaper Web sites.

© Copyright MICentral, a Journal Register Property & part of Journal Register MI -- All rights reserved
Our Publications | About Our Ads | Privacy Policy/Terms of Service