Indians held by IS in Iraq's Mosul are alive: Government

Posted June 18, 2017

Iraqi forces on Tuesday reported progress in the US-backed campaign to dislodge Daesh from Mosul, announcing the capture of a district just north the city's historic center.

"The reason we know that they're being shot at by snipers and not crossfire is because they're being shot in the back", she said. "Many of these people are situations of penury", he warned. On Thursday, the Armed Forces lowered the black flag of Daesh (the acronym of the IS in Arabic) and hoisted the Iraqi flag in public buildings in Bab Sinjar, in the western zone, from where they moved to Farouq to plan the final attack on the Old City.

About 800,000 people, more than a third of the pre-war population of Mosul, have already fled, seeking refuge either with friends and relatives or in camps.

Geddo said the United Nations agency so far had provided assistance to more than 500,000 of the displaced people, and was also attempting to help those returning to Mosul, often to live in bombed-out buildings.

In a statement, the UNHCR said, "These civilians are basically held as human shields in Mosul's historic district".

The attempts of the Iraqi forces to eliminate ISIS are complicated not only with thousands of civilians being used as human shields in the densely populated areas, but also by the fact that this is urban warfare.

The Mosul offensive, now in its ninth month, has taken much longer than expected, with Iraqi government advances slowed by the need to avoid civilian casualties.

Geddo, who had spoken to several families fleeing the old district, said that many came under sniper fire as they tried to escape the city at night through the streets or by boat across the Tigris River to reach safety of liberated east Mosul. "However, the civilians are trapped inside their homes, it is extremely hard for them to get out because they are targeted by snipers", she said from Erbil.

The UN Refugee Agency is working to reunite families separated in flight and is helping displaced people to replace identity documents they have lost.

"So unless safe passages are available then it will be very hard for civilians to get out".

"There is hardly any food, water, electricity, fuel".