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ICC Note:

Despite the fact that victory in Mosul has been declared, Iraqi soldiers continue to face sporadic attacks from ISIS operatives. The road ahead for Mosul, as well as Iraq, will be difficult. The depth of death and destruction wrought upon the land is staggering.  Amnesty International calls it a “civilian catastrophe. ISIS used civilians as human shields and created battle spaces in densely populated areas. The US-backed Iraqi forces did not adapt their strategy, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties. Not only does Mosul have to rebuild buildings that have been destroyed, they have to repair relationships that led to the rise of ISIS, those between Sunni and Shia, Christians and Kurds. The road ahead for Iraq will be long and hard as they continue to root out ISIS and try to hold together a country that has for so long been deeply divided.

07/11/2017 Iraq (ABC) – Sporadic clashes continued Tuesday in Mosul, a day after Iraq’s prime minister declared “total victory” over the Islamic State group and at least one airstrike hit the Old City neighborhood that was the scene of the fierce battle’s final days.

A plume of smoke rose into the air from the strike as IS mortar shells landed near Iraqi positions and heavy gunfire could be heard on the western edge of the Old City.

The developments underscored the dangers still posed by the militants after Iraqi forces announced they retook full control of Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, three years after it was seized by extremists bent on building a global caliphate.

Amnesty International warned in a report released Tuesday that the conflict in Mosul has created a “civilian catastrophe,” with the extremists carrying out forced displacement, summary killings and using civilians as human shields.

The report also detailed violations by Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition.

“The scale and gravity of the loss of civilian lives during the military operation to retake Mosul must immediately be publicly acknowledged at the highest levels of government in Iraq and states that are part of the U.S.-led coalition,” said Lynn Maalouf, the research director for Mideast at Amnesty.

The report, which covers the first five months of this year, noted how IS fighters moved civilians with them around the city, preventing them from escaping, creating battle spaces with dense civilian populations while “Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition failed to adapt their tactics.”

The Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition “continued to use imprecise, explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated urban environments,” Amnesty stated, adding that some violations may constitute war crimes.

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