Mosul (IraqiNews.com) At least 230 civilians were killed over the past two days by Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi fighter jets in western Mosul, an Iraqi source said on Sunday.
Col. Reda Abdullah al-Bahadli, of the Rapid Response forces, told Anadolu Agency, “Islamic State killed since late Saturday until today 157 civilians including women and children while trying to escape al-Zanjili in western Mosul. The airstrikes launched by army jets against IS locations in al-Shifa district, northeast of Mosul, on Saturday claimed lives of 43 civilians.”
According to Bahadli, 30 civilians were killed as Iraqi troops attacked IS pockets in districts of al-Shifa, al-Zanjili, al-Borsa, Bab Sanjar and Bab al-Toub in western Mosul.
Meanwhile, Cap. Ali Dawoud, of Federal Police, said Iraqi troops are in control of 65 percent of al-Zanjili and that 130 families were evacuated. He said the slow advance is meant to protect lives.
After liberation of al-Sihha al-Oula district on Friday, IS now has only two remaining districts of al-Shifaa, al-Zanjili and parts of the Old City.
In western Nineveh, Iraqi troops started digging trenches that stretch along regions that were liberated last week.
Iraqi forces have been sweeping through northwestern neighborhoods over the past few weeks in a way to invade the strategic Old City, after finding it hard to invade from the south.
The eastern side of Mosul was retaken in January after three months of battles. Another major offensive was launched in February to recapture the western flank of the city.