Within hours of launching their assault on the city of Mosul, Iraqi Elite Counter-Terrorism Service troops have entered the Eastern area of the city. Although they have encountered extremely fierce fighting from Islamic State Militants, they have, just hours ago, retaken the state television building in Kukjali and are now poised, along with the Iraqi army’s ninth division, to continue their advance into the south-eastern area of Mosul itself.
What they will find when they finally push into what has now become the enclave of Mosul, is anyone’s guess, but what is clear as they peer through the acrid dust between them and their final objective is that this is not going to be an easy battle.
Reports now surfacing tell us that all bridges over the River Tigris, a river they must cross to reach their objective, are booby trapped, all roads leading into Mosul have had concrete blast walls erected and the actual road’s have been littered with bombs and mines.
Furthermore and even more horrific is the news that Islamic State Militants have forcibly relocated thousands of Mosul’s population, leading to fears that they will be used as human shields, a ploy the Islamic State has already utilized.
Meanwhile back at the United Nations, officials have expressed deep concern as to the safety of the 1.5 million civilians still left in the center of Mosul, a concern that has been backed up by reports from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights who have said they are receiving daily reports of mass killings and forced relocation.
One spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, has said that Islamic State Militants have killed 40 former soldiers from the south of Mosul before throwing their bodies into the already blooded River Tigris.
Will these latest scenes of atrocities stop the Iraqi and collation forces advance into the City of Mosul? I think not, especially when you take into account, the Iraqi Prime Ministers’ statement which he issued to the Islamic State Militants, this past Monday.
“There was "no escape" and to "either surrender or die".
We here at Global Breaking News Hub will keep you up-to-date as news breaks, but for now please offer up a silent prayer for the victims of this horrific war, the women, men and children of Mosul.
Freelance Journalist and Author
Global Breaking News Hub.
Sources and Credits: BBC.UK, the United Nations, #mosuleye, Ravina Shamdasani, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reuters for the cover picture.