Most of the time, when reports come out about the fighting in Mosul taking place in densely populated residential zones, it is in the context of that inconveniencing invading Iraqi troops, as they slowly try to advance through the sort of urban fighting they weren’t really trained or armed for. The problem is a little more straightforward for the population.
Today, Reuters offered a look at just one of the emergency field hospitals set up under WHO auspices, and run by foreign aid groups, outside of Mosul. The hospital deals with children wounded in the fighting, and has been facing an ever-growing number of such victims.
The report details children maimed in artillery fire around the city, and those that caught stray bullets during what is, in and around Mosul’s Old City, a virtually constant gunbattle. Civilian casualties in Mosul include huge numbers of women and children, and many of the injuries are the sort that are going to stay with the victims for the rest of their lives.
Large numbers of the casualties are also from US and coalition airstrikes, with locals claiming some 3,500 killed in airstrikes throughout the invasion of Mosul, and an incident just last night killing around 230 civilians in just three buildings. As these strikes continue to escalate, so too are the number of victims flocking to the field hospitals.