The Iraqi army on Saturday announced the suspension of large-scale operation to liberate the Western half of Mosul city from the terrorists of the “Islamic state”*. It happened because of the large casualties among the civilian population shortly after the UN expressed serious concern reports. Blocked in the city people are bombing planes to the Iraqi air force and supporting the offensive of the United States and is militants* shot trying to leave the areas of the Old city, where turned heated battles.
Reuters , citing data from the UN reports that in the Western parts of Mosul have up to 600 thousand people.
The storming of Mosul, the main stronghold of ISIS* in Iraq began six months ago. The Iraqi army with the support of the U.S. armed forces liberated the Eastern part of the city, divided in two by the Tigris river, and the Western half part. However, in March, the offensive stopped when the fighting moved on the narrow streets of the Old city. Taking control of this area has a great symbolic meaning: in the Old city is the mosque of al-Nuri, where the head of IG* Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced in the summer of 2014 on the establishment of the Caliphate.
Residents who fled from the besieged districts of Mosul, told the news Agency about the air strikes from the Iraqi air force and the United States, which destroyed a significant number of buildings and took the life of many civilians, reports the RNS. The Kurdish TV channel Rudaw claimed that more than 200 people on Thursday were killed in the bombing in the al-Jadida – both civilians and militants, who were hiding in their homes, reminds RIA “Novosti”.
The representative of the Iraqi army in an interview with Reuters said that this was the reason for the suspension of hostilities: “the High mortality rate among civilians in the Old city forced us to stop the offensive, to reconsider our plans… We use this time to develop new offensive plans and tactics. No fighting will not be maintained. We need to ensure that the ousting of the President of the Old town is not accompanied by high losses among the civilian population”.
On the eve of Brigadier General U.S. army John Richardson offered to change tactics. In particular, the possibility to open another front and to surround the Old city, where militants had army violent resistance.
The statement of the Iraqi army, published in the state newspaper Al-Sabah, said that future operations will be conducted by ground troops, well trained for fighting in the city.
The defense Ministry does not believe in the imminent liberation of Mosul
The Russian military did not believe in the possibility of the complete liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic state terrorists said on Saturday the official representative of the defense Ministry major-General Igor Konashenkov.
“Let me remind you that such optimistic slogans about the environment and the imminent victory of the coalition in Iraq Mosul has already resulted in heavy casualties on Iraqi forces and a growing humanitarian catastrophe. And in the possibility of the liberation of Mosul from ISIS* this year stop believing even the biggest optimists”, – quotes the representative of the defense Ministry, RIA “Novosti”.
*”The Islamic state” – ISIS, ISIL, DAISH is a terrorist group banned in Russia.