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IS 'using thousands as human shields'

01 November 2016

Iraqis who fled their homes expressed joy at escaping Daesh's brutal rule as they were given shelter and assistance.

Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.

"ISIS executed 42 civilians in Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul".

Iraqi forces, including the Iraqi army, elite counterterrorism forces and Kurdish peshmerga, have made significant progress in recapturing territory surrounding Mosul since the operation to reclaim the strategic city began on October 17. Another 24 people were reportedly shot dead on Tuesday.

The reports, corroborated by the United Nations, were "by no means comprehensive but indicative of violations", she added.

ISIL tactics have been described as depraved and cowardly.

Iraq launched a massive operation to retake militant-held Mosul, its second largest city, last week. Iraqi forces are advancing from several directions, but are still well outside the city itself.

When the Mosul offensive began on October 17, the Iraqi army estimated that the ISIS defending force included up to 6,000 terrorists.

He said the anti-Daesh operation aims to cut the terrorist group's supply lines from the Syrian city of Raqqa to Mosul.

A surprising turn of events in the battle for Mosul, as the Iraqi Army announced that they were halting their advance towards the ISIS stronghold in order to "consolidate the gains".

IS 'using thousands as human shields'

State-sanctioned Shiite militias have launched an attack on the Islamic State group west of the Iraqi city of Mosul but reiterated that they would not enter the Sunni majority city.

This was to "use them as human shields, to be able to keep them close to military try to frustrate the military operation against them", she said.

Then, on Thursday, a volley of airstrikes by the USA -led coalition pounded the fighters' positions.

He says that 40 to 45 of the vehicles were hit in the US attack before any civilians were put in them.

The spokesman, Air Force Col. John Dorrian, said on Friday that the pause is "widespread" and is expected to last a couple of days.

The disclosure that the US was using airstrikes in an attempt to limit ISIS' ability to exploit civilians came as the Mosul offensive "paused" to allow Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to clear up pockets of resistance and refit for the assault on the city itself, said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

The government and the PMF say a limited number of violations had occurred and were investigated, but they deny abuses were widespread and systematic. Up to 1.5 million people are believed to remain inside the city, which has seen thousands flee since the beginning of the operation.

The Islamic State has built up elaborate defenses on the outskirts of the city, including an extensive tunnel network, and has planted large numbers of explosive booby traps to slow the troops' progress.

The organisation is bracing for hat could be the biggest and most complex crisis in 2016 once the fighting for the city begins. Brigadier General Matthew C Isler of the USA air force said the US-led coalition conducted "precision strikes" on vehicles that were unoccupied and far enough away from civilians to avoid harming them.

The U.S. -led coalition against ISIS has advisers on the ground and is providing air support to the Iraqi forces, but is not participating in combat.

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IS 'using thousands as human shields'