alabadi fetes ‘victory’ in mosul but battle continues
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
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Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
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Al-Abadi fetes ‘victory’ in Mosul, but battle continues

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Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Al-Abadi fetes ‘victory’ in Mosul, but battle continues

An Iraqi solider advancse in The Old City Mosul
Baghdad - Al Maghrib Todaay

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi congratulated the Iraqi people and security forces on winning a “major victory” over terrorists in Mosul, but fighting in the city continued on Wednesday.
More than eight months since the start of the operation to retake Mosul from Daesh, the terrorists have gone from fully controlling the city to holding a limited area on its western side.
But security forces have faced tough resistance and a spike in suicide bombings in recent days.
Al-Abadi congratulated the country’s people, security forces and the Shiite religious leadership “on the achievement of this major victory in Mosul” in remarks broadcast Tuesday night.
But in Mosul’s Old City, automatic weapons fire, shelling and airstrikes on Wednesday made clear that the final stage of the battle for the city was not yet over.
Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake Mosul on Oct. 7, advancing to the city, recapturing its eastern side and then setting their sights on its smaller but more densely populated west.
Now, Daesh fighters estimated to number in the hundreds are clinging to limited territory in Mosul’s Old City, and security forces are slowly but surely closing in.
The population of Mosul has endured huge suffering in the war and trauma cases among civilians are sharply rising in the last stages of battle, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said on Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped among the shattered buildings and infrastructure in Daesh’s redoubt in the Old City by the western bank of the Tigris river, the aid organization said.
Civilians who have managed to get medical treatment are suffering from burns, and shrapnel and blast injuries, while many women and children are in need of critical care and are undernourished, MSF officials said.
But there was concern that only a small proportion of the civilian population was managing to get the medical attention they required.
“Really, (there is) a huge level of human suffering,” Jonathan Henry, MSF emergency coordinator in West Mosul, told a news briefing in Geneva after spending six weeks in Iraq.
“This is a massive population that has been traumatized from a very brutal and horrific conflict,” he said.
The militants’ brutality and the US-backed war to end their three-year rule have created an “extremely traumatic environment for people to flee from and to return to,” affecting their mental health on a large scale, Henry said.
“The west (of the city) has been heavily destroyed. It’s really mass destruction... similar to the blitz of the Second World War, hospitals have been destroyed, neighborhoods are in ruins.”
The battles in the Old City’s maze of narrow alleyways is fought house by house in streets packed with civilians and planted with multiple explosive devices by the militants, who are also using drones and suicide bombings.
Shrapnel and blast injuries, broken bones from collapsed buildings and burns are the main type of wounds seen by the MSF team of surgeons in west Mosul, said Henry.
“One of our major concerns is we feel only a small percentage of the patients are reaching medical facilities,” he said.
Half of the 100 war-wounded over the past two weeks at the MSF 25-bed hospital were women and children in need of critical care and many were malnourished, he said.
“But the most urgent patients we feel are not able to leave the conflict area.”
About 900,000 people, nearly half the prewar population of Mosul, have been displaced by the fighting, taking shelter in camps or with relatives and friends, according the aid group.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi commander said he believes some 300 terrorists remain in the small patch of territory still controlled by Daesh in Mosul’s Old City.
Lt. Gen. Sami Al-Aridi of Iraq’s special forces said the militants are confined to a 500-square-meter area.

Source: Arab News

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alabadi fetes ‘victory’ in mosul but battle continues alabadi fetes ‘victory’ in mosul but battle continues

 



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