Struggling With Visibility, Iraqi Troops Shoot Anything That Moves in Mosul

Iraqi Troops Shoot Any Cars They See, Even if Civilians Are Inside

It’s a cloudy day over Mosul, and the poor visibility is further slowing the advance toward the city, with US warplanes largely unable to carry out airstrikes, and Iraqi troops on the ground also saying they’re having a hard time telling who is who inside Mosul.

Iraqi troops’ solution to that lack of clarity, such as it is, is to just shoot anything that moves, with troops confirming that they deliberately open fire on any cars they see moving “even if there is a family inside,” because for all they know the family has suicide vests on.

With Iraqi officials say their own rooftop snipers have gotten good at telling the good from the bad based on clothing, the comments on shooting at every car suggests that they largely consider having anything to shoot at “good” in their limited area of influence within Mosul.

Only a small number of Iraqi special forces have actually gotten into Mosul, with ISIS seen trynng to spread the advancing forces thin by allowing advances in some areas and stalling them in others. What troops have gotten into Mosul have described struggling with “waves” of jihadist forces attacking them, and today’s report suggests they are still pinned down, and not really in a position to advance any further.

The expectation, as ever, is that US airstrikes will help the matter, though it’s unclear what those airstrikes have accomplished up to this point, and the weather is severely limiting the ability to carry out such strikes at all in recent days.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.