The point perhaps is getting belabored a bit after days of additional fighting, but a pair of claims of “victory” by the Iraqi government in the city of Mosul over the past two weeks are plainly false, and the fighting continues to rage in Mosul’s Old City.
The latest evidence is direct video evidence released, showing ISIS still controls a strip of the Old City, and that a large number of civilians remain trapped in that area, The video confirms “at least 100” civilians, though that’s doubtless just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s been business as usual in the Old City, where Iraqi officials have been trying to orchestrate victory celebrations even as heavy gunbattles and artillery strikes rage just a few blocks away. The Iraqi military is increasingly eager to downplay the trapped civilians angle, insisting that at least some of the trapped civilians are potentially loyal to ISIS.
Aid groups, however, say that even as the amount of territory ISIS holds falls, the humanitarian crisis is getting worse, with locals in and near the fighting still mostly unable to flee, and trapped in the wreckage of a once great city,listening to celebrations in one direction and explosions in the other.
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