Iraq’s battle for Mosul takes a heavy toll on Daesh fighters

Published November 29th, 2016 - 07:07 GMT
Iraqi oil fields on fire outside of Mosul. (AFP/File)
Iraqi oil fields on fire outside of Mosul. (AFP/File)

Iraqi special forces claim to have killed nearly 1,000 Daesh militants in the battle for Mosul.

The six-week old offensive to re-take the jihadists's stronghold has seen Iraqi troops enter about a quarter of the city on its eastern outskirts where they are now moving cautiously to avoid civilian casualties.

Iraqi military estimates initially put the number of insurgents in Mosul at 5,000 to 6,000, but that may have been too high.

In an attempt to slow down the Iraqi military advance Daesh fighters are deploying snippers, using car bombs and improvised explosive devises.

On Monday (Nov. 28) Iraqi special forces claimed to have recaptured six districts of eastern Mosul. Heavy gunfire echoed across neighbourhoods as troops backed by armoured personnel carriers, cleared houses, one by one, to flush out Daesh militants who might be inside.

It is then that the Iraqi government and various humanitarian organisations send in lorries loaded with food and clothes.

The idea is to encourage civilians to stay at home during the offensive as the numbers of displaced people is running into hundreds of thousands.

It's believed more than one million people remain in Mosul, most in areas which are still under ISIL control.

Iraqi authorities have not released estimates of civilian casualties but the United Nations says growing numbers of injured, both civilians and military, are overwhelming aid groups.

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