Iraqi security forces have launched an attack on Mosul airport, a key part of the government’s offensive to drive the grotesque terror network from the western half of the city.
BBC reporter Quentin Sommerville, who is on the ground with the government’s fighters, revealed the struggles they face trying to defeat the evil jihadis.
From The Express
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sommerville told listeners how ISIS fighters moved around the city undetected while Iraqi security forces struggle to navigate through narrow streets without the use of armoured vehicles.
“It’s hell for civilians,” he said. “They are living under siege, the price of flour and fuel have soared.
“And as in east Mosul, IS are hiding behind them. One order – and I’ve already seen this in retaken villages – is that people allow IS knock holes in the walls of their homes, so they can move around without being spotted.
“If families don’t comply, they’ll be killed. On social media, one Mosul resident said families in the city choose between starvation an execution.”
The UN has voiced concerns about the welfare of civilians trapped in the city, amid reports that they could number up to 650,000. More than 160,000 people have already fled their homes in and around the city.
In a statement in January, the UN said almost half of all casualties in Mosul were civilians.
Military police have since entered Mosul airport and taken over the runway amid ferocious clashes with ISIS militants, according to AP reports.
The airport’s runway has been destroyed by ISIS, but the BBC correspondent, claims it is still of value to government forces.
It’s a large piece of land, and controlling it will help secure southern route to west Mosul, he added.
A military spokesman told Iraqia TV that simultaneous raids were being carried out on the airport and al-Ghazlani base to “distract” the jihadis.
“Our forces started a major operation early this morning to storm the airport of Mosul and the Ghazlani base to dislodged (Daesh) terrorists,” Counter-Terrorism Service spokesman Sabah al-Numan said.
“We can confirm that the Mosul airport militarily has fallen and it’s a matter of short time to fully control it.”
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