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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/16/16

West Sentences Citizens of Mosul to Death

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Author 507311
Message Mariam al-Hijab

The Mosul operation clearly shows that Western countries so fond of blaming Damascus and Moscow for "inhumane military actions" in Syria don't even care for civilians in war-torn areas.

US, Iraqi forces train [Image 3 of 13]
US, Iraqi forces train [Image 3 of 13]
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On October 17, the world saw the beginning of the offensive of the so-called "coalition forces" consisting of the Peshmerga troops, Shia and Sunni militia and the Iraqi army. The aerial support is provided by the US-led coalition aviation. US and British Spec Ops, American, French and British artillery and military advisers along with western PSCs are aiding the operation forces on the ground.

Even before the operation started, international humanitarian organizations, journalists and politicians of various countries forecast the aggravation of the humanitarian situation. It was clear that ISIS wouldn't let the Mosul population leave the city to use the residents as human shields. The Pentagon, which basically supervised the arrangement of the operation and is controlling it now, initially planned no humanitarian corridors for civilians. This reminds of the assault on Iraq's Fallujah in 2004 after it was captured by Muqtada al-Sadr's militants. Then, the US military gave one week for civilians to leave the city without providing any humanitarian corridors or camps. Afterwards, all the residents who stayed in the city were considered terrorists' accomplices. Thousands of civilians fell victims to the assault that followed.

Now, Mosul and its suburbs are witnessing airstrikes on living districts that destroy schools, mosques and residential houses; more than 1.5 thousand civilians were killed the previous month. Not all of them became the victims of the Coalition's jets -- both Western and Iraqi artillery, which is far from being accurate, also contributes to the death toll. As analysts predicted, the government troops (the Western special forces and mercenaries are fighting in Mosul suburbs) shoot at almost anything that moves while operating within the city borders. Such a tactic resulted in dozens if not hundreds of civilians killed, as revealed in the footages of Iraqi journalists advancing with the army. The troops seem to tag the Mosul population as ISIS accomplices not to risk their own lives.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the city and local villages' residents have been executed or murdered by terrorists themselves. For instance, one can be killed for violating the ban on using mobile phones, alleged assistance to the coalition forces or simply for an attempt to leave the city without the required fee or permit.

Another side of the humanitarian disaster in Mosul is the refugee crisis.

The UN reports that more than 50 thousand people have left the city and its outskirts since the operation started. Only 12 thousand of them received the required aid. The number of refugees from the war-torn region is projected to reach one million by midwinter. Before the operation, it was stated that most of them would be placed in Iraq's Ninawa and Anbar provinces. But as for November 1, the camps there were filled up to 50%.

Meanwhile, at the urge or direction of the US Command, neither Iraqi nor foreign humanitarian organizations are permitted to enter the battle zone. No one cares about the locals suffering from the shortage of medicine, water and food or qualified medical aid.

Actually, people have nowhere to go to, they just can't escape from the war. They have basically only one way -- to move to Europe. Is the West ready for it? That's unlikely. It would rather keep the Mosul residents in the city until the coalition eliminates everyone it calls "terrorists."


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Freelance journalist covering Middle East with a special interest in Syria and Iraq issues.

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