Desperate ISIS forces boys to fight and shoot families as 320,000 people flee Mosul
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
More than 300,000 people are expected to run for their lives as coalition-backed forces storm the west of the Iraqi city from the liberated east in the coming weeks.
But men are being captured and forced to fight for ISIS as the terror group watches the fall of its de facto capital of their self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate on Iraq.
Since mid-February 180,000 civilians have fled western Mosul. Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said: “The humanitarian operation in western Mosul is far larger and far more complex than in the east.
“The main difference is that tens of thousands of families stayed in their homes in the east – in the west, tens of thousands are fleeing.”
Those fleeing the city are in grave danger as the land is littered with bombs.
But staying is not an option as water and electricity has been cut, medicine is running out and shelves are empty.
Ms Grande said: “People fleeing are telling us that it’s very difficult to enter or leave the Old City.
“Families are at risk of being shot if they leave and they are at risk if they stay. “It’s horrible. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped and they are in terrible danger.”
Those who have escaped have spoken of the clear ‘desperation’ of ISIS who are using citizens as “human shields”.
Ali, a former government worker, said he had hidden his sons in a basement when Islamic State fighters came looking for recruits.
He told Reuters: ”It feels like the siege is ending. All they are doing now is defending.
“I hid my sons in the basement and told them if you want my sons you will have to kill me.”
A Federal Police intelligence officer, Captain Ali al-Kinani, said the militants wanted to fill up their ranks as they had suffered heavy casualties.
Some fighters were wearing civilian clothes under their uniforms and would switch outfits to mix in with fleeing civilians, he said.
Kinani said, using an Arab acronym for Islamic State, said: “We arrested dozens who said that they were forced by Daesh to carry arms or take a bullet in the head if they refused.
“Many families that fled the fight asked our troops to help their sons. Some young men hiding inside their houses are still waiting for our forces to secure their neighbourhoods and rescue them.”