Human shields used by ISIS in Mosul, preventing safe corridors for civilians

ISIS militants continue to use civilians as human shields in western Mosul, as Iraqi Security Forces prepare to launch a renewed push on the Old City after several days of tactical manoeuvring.

Within this framework, the Counter Terrorism Forces have started to move up the Old City’s northwestern perimeter in an attempt to flank ISIS militants from three sides, with the Federal Police and Rapid Response Forces occupying the southern and eastern flanks.

This move has reportedly caused fear within the group, forcing many militants to transfer to other parts of ISIS-held Mosul, using civilians as human shields. As a result of the group’s exploitation of civilians, the advent of Iraqi forces in the Old City has thus far remained slow, as civilian safety remains a priority. The narrow neighbourhoods and winding alleyways of the Old City have further restricted the ability of Iraqi forces to use large, armoured vehicles.

Elsewhere in western Mosul, the Counter Terrorism Forces announced yesterday that they had stormed the Tanak district, one of western Mosul’s largest districts and known locally as the Nahrawan district.

According to Joint Operations Command Spokesman, General Yahya Rasool, ISIS now only holds 6.8% of Iraqi territory, down dramatically from 40% at its peak in 2014.