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The Battle for Mosul Witnesses Hundreds of Civilian Casualties

Source:  Reuters / Mohammed Salem Photography Source: Reuters / Mohammed Salem Photography

ISIS fighters frequently executed civilians in the city, who not involved in the military operations, during its notorious execution campaigns carried out by its fighters. Other civilians were killed as a result of random bombardments targeting civilians trying to flee from ISIS-controlled territory. Still other civilians met their fate as a result of the inaccurate air raids conducted by the International Coalition against ISIS over residential neighborhoods.

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) has documented hundreds of cases of civilian casualties over the past two months in the city of Mosul in Nineveh Governorate, since the launch of the military operations to liberate the city from the grips of the terrorist ‘Islamic State’ Organization (ISIS).

 

The Battle for Mosul, also called “Qadimun Ya Ninewah” (lit. Ninewah, Here We Come), was launched on 17 October 2016, and continues to the present day.

 

ISIS fighters frequently executed civilians in the city, who not involved in the military operations, during its notorious execution campaigns carried out by its fighters. Other civilians were killed as a result of random bombardments targeting civilians trying to flee from ISIS-controlled territory. Still other civilians met their fate as a result of the inaccurate air raids conducted by the International Coalition against ISIS over residential neighborhoods.

 

IOHR has interviewed 13 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled Mosul to the town of Tel Abta, located just 73 km away from the city of Mosul. They all spoke about the constant bombardment by ISIS on their homes. Some of those interviewed by the IOHR still sustained injuries from the mortar shelling carried out by ISIS.

 

The IOHR’s monitoring network has documented 762 officially registered cases of civilian deaths from 17 October 2016, up until the night of 22 December 2016. Members of the IOHR monitoring network based in Northern Iraq have stated, “1,297 civilians have been injured so far, almost 60 percent of whom have been left paralyzed, partially or completely, and many of them had to undergo amputations.”

 

Through the voluntary efforts of its members, IOHR has documented 426 cases of civilians from all ages, who were killed as a result of car bombs and mortar shells inside the residential neighborhoods.

 

IDPs in Al Jida’a camp have disclosed to IOHR, that while fleeing the city of Mosul, they faced continuous mortar shelling from unidentified parties, but assumed to have originated from ISIS-controlled territories.

The IOHR expresses its deep concern for the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians living in the neighborhoods of Mosul under ISIS-control, and warns of the looming threat of increasing civilian casualties as a result of the military operations to retake the city.

 

The IOHR calls on the Iraqi Government and International Coalition’s air forces, in addition to all parties in the Battle of Mosul to ensure the of civilians by prioritizing them in all their strategic and military planning. The IOHR stresses the importance of ensuring the accuracy of air raids conducted by the International Coalition against ISIS in order to prevent civilian casualties.

 

IOHR condemns the use of civilians as human shields in ISIS-controlled areas, and calls on the Iraqi Government and its allies in the Battle for Mosul to abide by the principles of International Humanitarian Law and work to limit the threat posed by ISIS to civilians in the city. 

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