Iraqi forces tell Mosul civilians to stay away from IS targets

Displaced Iraqis wait to get food supplies as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Baghdad ( Iraqi army planes dropped down safety directives to Iraqi citizens at some provinces, including Mosul, telling them to stay away from Islamic State targets.

The Joint Operations Command, which leads the war against IS members in Iraq, said Wednesday its air force planes dropped down leaflets containing directives to citizens to ensure their safety during operations targeting IS locations at their respective areas.

It said a total of five million messages were dropped on Mosul as well as other IS-held areas in Nineveh, Anbar, Kirkuk and Salahuddin.

“The Iraqi Armed Forces will soon begin to invade your region, protect yourself and your family by staying at home,” read the messages. “Stay away from familiar Daesh (IS )locations such as headquarters, checkpoints, artillery positions and bunkers. Those are targets” they added.

‘The airstrikes target Daesh, not civilians,” the messages concluded.

Iraqi army forces and the allied U.S.-led coalition have faced accusations of causing occasional civilian deaths since operations launched in October to retake Mosul, IS’s largest stronghold in Iraq. The Pentagon said last month it was going to investigate reports that coalition jets killed more than 200 in western Mosul in strikes targeting IS militantsl. The Iraqi command has, however, accused IS of causing the deaths by booby-trapping civilians’ houses.

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