Since October, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have been battling to take the city of Mosul back from ISIS control, Now, nine months later, victory is in sight.
The coalition of U.S., Iraqi, and Kurdish fighters have regained control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, except for a small area of the city, west of the Tigris River, according to CBN News.
Although on the brink of defeat, ISIS fighters are reportedly resorting to desperate measures to keep control of their small portion of territory. This includes using innocent citizens as human shields.
"There's no accurate estimate for the Daesh fighters and the families who are stuck there," said Lt. Gen. Abdul-Ghani al-Asadi, a senior special forces commander, using the Arabic term for ISIS.
"But we will not accuse them of anything," he continued. "If they don't carry weapons they are civilians."
Despite these cowardly tactics and desperate measures, Iraqi citizens of Mosul are celebrating the near defeat of the jihadists who have been in control of the city since 2014.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi even joined in the celebration.
"We are glad to see normal life return for the citizens," he said, according to a statement from his office. "This is the result of the sacrifices of the (country's) heroic fighters."
Photo: Children play football next to an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive, on October 21, 2016 in Qayyarah, Iraq. Several hundred Iraqi families have been made to leave their homes for Mosul by Islamic State fighters as the UN warns they could be used as human shields. ISIS have attacked Kirkuk today as Kurdish and Iraqi forces, backed by a coalition including Britain and the U.S.A continue their offensive to retake Iraq's second largest city of Mosul.
Photo courtesy: Carl Court/Getty Images
Publication date: July 10, 2017
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.