Civilian Safety Paramount in Mosul Fight
The liberation of Mosul from ISIL occupation continues apace. The Iraqi Security Forces, with strong support from the Coalition, are pushing through ISIL defenses to liberate Mosul city block by block, and continuing their steady advance, clearing a number of towns and villages.
Mosul is home to roughly one and a half million people, who have been under ISIL rule since 2014. ISIL continues to use human shields and restricts the movement of civilians against their will.
“A key element of this campaign in Mosul is that we want to make sure that all civilian life is protected,” said Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk. “That is a directive coming from [Iraq's] Prime Minister [Haider] Abadi to all the security forces. And we face an enemy of ISIL that uses civilians as human shields, which uses a civilian when they cross the streets they try to have families with them , they barricade themselves in civilian homes with suicide vests, so this a barbaric and brutal enemy which is one reason why this operation will take time.
“We are protecting civilian life. We are targeting ISIL with precision. It is the most precise air campaign in history. There are 16,000 airstrikes now and we have never had a more precise air campaign in the history of warfare. And so that will continue but it is difficult, there will be bad days and good days but so far, the overall operation is on track.”