100k Children Trapped in Mosul, Some Forced to Fight for Daesh
Minors have been used as human shields and forced to fight on behalf of Daesh [ISIS/ISIL] terrorists as some 100,000 children remain trapped in "extremely dangerous" conditions in and around the last Daesh-controlled section of Mosul, the United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF] revealed.
"An estimated 100,000 girls and boys remain in extremely dangerous conditions in the old city and other areas of west Mosul," Peter Hawkins, UNICEF's Representative in Iraq, said in a statement.
"We are receiving alarming reports of civilians including several children being killed in west Mosul."
Iraqi forces began a push towards the medieval old city in late April. Their advance has been slow due to fierce urban combat and the use of civilians by Daesh terrorists as human shields.
At present, it is reported that only three neighborhoods - Zanjili, al-Sihha and al-Shefa - around the old city remain under terrorist control.
As terrorists continue to hold their ground, Hawkins revealed there have been some instances where minors have been "forced" to participate in the fighting on behalf of the Daesh.
"In some cases, they [minors] have been forced to participate in the fighting and violence," Hawkins noted, adding that others are "being killed, injured and used as human shields."
To spare the lives of innocent children and other civilians still trapped under the yoke of Daesh, UNICEF called on all involved in the battle to spare hospitals and other civilian infrastructure.
"Many are caught in the crossfire and hospitals and other medical facilities have reportedly come under attack," Hawkins noted. "Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and water systems should stop immediately."
Iraqi troops, backed by US airstrikes and Special Forces, began the battle for Daesh's main stronghold in the country in October 2016. Operations to recapture western Mosul was launched on February 19 after the eastern section of Iraq's second largest city was liberated in January.
As Iraqi forces make the final push to retake the city, at least 200,000 civilians remain in danger.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team