MOSCOW (Reuters) – Iraqi forces continued to advance west of Mosul on Friday, restoring health from the grip of the Islamic state, while deputies and citizens expressed deep concern about the fate of the besieged population, calling for alternative plans to save them.
“The anti-terrorist forces liberated the first health district on the right side of the city of Mosul,” Commander of the Operations of Yaninwa, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rashid Yaarallah, said in a statement.
The statement added that “the forces raised the Iraqi flag to flutter high on its buildings.”
The Federal Police Command said in a statement that the latter “continues its cautious progress and controls 40 percent of the Zinjili neighborhood.” The security services have managed to open safe corridors to evacuate the displaced.
He added that «the state organization has bombarded houses and sidewalks and wheels citizens, and the field engineering teams were able to dismantle 4 houses and 6-wheeled vehicles».
According to the statement, «the Special Forces units were able to kill the so-called official Hesba calling in Zanjili mechanic Abu Abdul Rahman and his military assistant Yusuf Ali Humaidan and a suicide bomber tried to attack displaced families».
In the context, sources in the militias “popular crowd” that the brigades of the crowd was able to control two villages west of the district of Baaj northwest of the city of Mosul.
The sources pointed out that «the forces of the crowd continued to advance and liberated the village and the outpost (Tal Safok) border west of the district of Baaj, which is one of the main supply lines to Damascus between Syria and Iraq, while the other forces liberated the village of (Jair Jalvas) border west of Al-Ajaj and raise the Iraqi flag over its buildings» .
In Mosul, deputies and citizens from Mosul expressed deep concern about the fate of the besieged population as a result of the large numbers of victims who were trying to flee the Old City, calling on the government to find alternative plans for their peaceful evacuation.
Nineveh MP Muhammad al-Abed Rabbo called on the government to “seek alternative plans to save the besieged population on the western side of Mosul and not to leave them to exterminate all of them.”
“Many of the fugitives from the western side of the city are being killed by the state organization while they are taking refuge in safe passages set by the Iraqi forces,” he said.
He pointed out that “the organization killed 40 civilians, including women and children who tried to escape from the Zanjili neighborhood to the liberated neighborhood Rifai.”
“If we keep this situation, the victims of the state organization will increase day after day, and no one will remain from Mosul.”
“The government must have several alternative plans for how to get the trapped population out of peace, not leaving them an easy target for state regulation,” he stressed.
He also called for “accelerating the process of liberating the remaining liberated areas in the western part of Mosul,” stressing the “leadership of the operations of Mosul, the development of a new plan for qualitative and proactive operations taking into account the criminal nature of the gangs of state organization used by the Iraqi forces, Civilians every day. “
Ali al-Badrani, who succeeded in escaping to the left side of Mosul, assured al-Quds al-Arabi in a telephone conversation that “the waves of escape from the old region continue, but many victims fall while fleeing.”
And conveyed the concerns of the residents of Mosul to the safety of their family and relatives on the right side.
As for the safe crossings declared by the Iraqi forces, he explained that “they became known to the people trapped and to the organization of the” state “as well, so the latter put his snipers on the escape route, and planted the IEDs in these corridors.
Al-Badrani referred to the family of one of his relatives, who tried to escape through the designated passages, but a landmine planted by the organization exploded and killed most of its members.
In the context, well-informed security sources said that «the state organization is holding about 400 people who were arrested during the fighting inside the basement of Mosul General Hospital located on the right side of the city near the Republican Hospital».
According to Iraqi intelligence sources, “among the detainees are members of the Iraqi army, the police, the Peshmerga and the popular crowd, in addition to a number of Yezidis.”
The United Nations has warned that some 200,000 Iraqis may try to flee in the coming days from areas still under the control of the state organization in Mosul.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Aid Stephen O’Brien expressed “deep concern” for the safety of civilians still in areas controlled by jihadists, citing reports of house-to-house snipers while residents inside and targeting children by snipers.
An Iraqi soldier and a pro-government fighter were killed in two separate attacks in Baghdad, a police officer said.
“An improvised explosive device placed by unknown persons on the side of the road in the area of Radwaniya west of Baghdad, exploded during the passage of an Iraqi army patrol,” said Baghdad police lieutenant Hatem al-Jabri.
He added that «the bombing killed one soldier and wounded another, as well as damage to the patrol vehicle».
In a separate incident, al-Jabri pointed to “the killing of a fighter in the Awakening by unknown gunmen in the area of farmers north of Baghdad.”
The “Awakening” consists of Sunni fighters providing support to Iraqi forces by guarding checkpoints and participating in combing campaigns in Baghdad belt areas.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks immediately, but the state organization claimed responsibility for recent violent attacks targeting military sites and civilians in Baghdad and other provinces.
The group is trying to launch attacks in areas under government control to divert the attention of Iraqi forces, which began cracking down on it in northern Mosul.