ISIS killing civilians in Mosul as army closes in

Reuters:
Islamic State has summarily killed 21 civilians in Mosul it accused of collaborating with U.S.-backed security forces, which said their offensive to recapture the city from the jihadists had made further advances.

The killings, reported on Tuesday by a medical source, indicate that the ultra-hardline group has maintained its ability to police Mosul, more than four weeks after the start of the offensive on the northern Iraqi city.

The campaign that began on Oct. 17 is the biggest military operation in Iraq in more than a decade of turmoil unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Counter terrorism forces breached Islamic State defenses in the east of the city two weeks ago but have faced resistance from the militants who have deployed suicide car bombs, snipers and waves of counter-attacks.

They have been fighting in a dozen of the roughly 50 neighborhoods on the eastern side of the city, which is divided in two by the Tigris river running through the center.

Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said on Tuesday that Iraqi forces in the east of the city, which also include part of a tank division, had dislodged Islamic State fighters from a third of the eastern side of the city.
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Iraqi officials say the militants have used the city's more than 1 million remaining residents as human shields, firing from rooftops of inhabited houses and using a network of tunnels to launch ambushes in the midst of residential areas.
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Trying to stop the flow of any information out of Mosul, the militants have cracked down on communications, banning the use of mobile phones and also confiscating satellite dishes to prevent people from seeing the progress made by Iraqi forces.
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There is more.

The Iraqis have also accused ISIS of booby trapping occupied buildings and then blaming the destruction and deaths on US airstrikes.  Their fighters are radical Islamists whose way of fighting is an ongoing war crime.

Some of the streets in the area under attack are so narrow that tanks cannot get through them.  ISIS is knocking holes in the walls as well as using tunnels to move about among the civilians.

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