Iraqi forces continue to move closer to eradicating the last of ISIS from Mosul’s old city, however their progress is hindered in part because families of ISIS has joined the desperate struggle. The women are fighting with their children right beside them, which is making the Iraqi forces hesitant to use airstrikes. Some officers want to kill them all while others say the children should not pay for their father’s crimes. Yet Iraqi forces continue to sustain casualties and are eager to wipe out the last remnant of ISIS militants from Mosul.
07/07/2017 Iraq (Time) – Iraqi commanders say female Islamic State (ISIS) militants are firing on their forces and using children as human shields as the extremist group defends its last sliver of Mosul’s Old City. The militants’ use of human shields has repeatedly slowed Iraqi advances throughout the nearly nine-month offensive to retake the country’s second largest city, and the commanders’ frustration was on display as they watched surveillance footage from the front lines. “The women are fighting with their children right beside them,” Lt. Gen. Sami al-Aridi said as he was briefed by an officer holding a tablet computer showing drone imagery. “It’s making us hesitant to use airstrikes, to advance. If it weren’t for this we could be finished in just a few hours.” Another officer in the command post suggested using Iraqi artillery, which would not require approval from the U.S.-led coalition. “They’re all Daesh, just kill them all,” the commander said, referring to ISIS by its Arabic acronym “There are civilians there, but they are Daesh families,” said another officer. Neither would agree to speak on the record, in line with military regulations.