Civil­ians de­mand food from troops in newly cleared Mo­sul ar­eas

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

MO­SUL, (AP): HUN­DREDS OF Iraqi civil­ians spilled into the streets yes­ter­day in eastern Mo­sul ar­eas re­cently re­taken from the Is­lamic State (IS) group to de­mand food from the mil­i­tary as ra­tions run low in their neigh­bour­hoods, an Iraqi of­fi­cer said.

Gun­fire rang out in res­i­den­tial dis­tricts of Mo­sul amid heavy fight­ing, a tes­ta­ment to the long road ahead as Iraqi forces and their al­lies bat­tle to wrest con­trol of Iraq’s se­cond-largest city from IS mil­i­tants.

About 700 res­i­dents gath­ered in three ar­eas of the city’s Zahra and Qa­disiya neigh­bour­hoods, the lat­ter of which was the scene of a fierce IS coun­ter­at­tack a day ear­lier, said Maj Salam al-Obeidi. The Iraqi troops were shar­ing what ra­tions they have with the civil­ians.


“This is a prob­lem for us be­cause the food we have is not enough for them and we’re wait­ing for more food to be sent from the gov­ern­ment,” al-Obeidi said. “Now, the Iraqi sol­dier is giv­ing his food to the civil­ians.”

Iraq launched a ma­jor of­fen­sive last month to drive IS out of the north­ern city, which is still home to more than a mil­lion civil­ians.

Spe­cial forces have cap­tured a foothold in Mo­sul’s east, and have been ad­vanc­ing slowly over the past week to avoid ca­su­al­ties and civil­ian deaths as IS fight­ers emerge to at­tack from the dense, ur­ban land­scape, of­ten with suicide car bombs.

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