RT’s Murad Gazdiev inspected the bombed-out streets of Mosul to assess the impact of US-led coalition airstrikes targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), who have been luring jets by climbing on the rooftops of the few buildings still standing.
Despite losing hundreds of soldiers every day to fierce battles with jihadists, the Iraqi Army continues the strenuous effort to liberate western Mosul, wiping out militants with an intensive air campaign as well as in clashes on the battlefield.
“We were ready and our moral was high. We destroyed ISIS here. We have liberated 70 to 80 percent of Mosul,” an Iraqi Army soldier told RT.
The bombing raids, which often do not distinguish between civilian and military targets, have resulted in heavy casualties, far exceeding the military losses. Luring warplanes to residential buildings so they will target the innocent has become a standard tactic of the jihadists.
“ISIS made us keep our door open, so they could get onto the roofs at any time. They even broke down the walls between houses so they could move around,” a local resident told RT.
“I don’t know why they were climbing onto our rooftops, whether it was to fight or to provoke airstrikes,” another witness said.
The suffering of civilians who have to endure the side-effects of the offensive on a daily basis has been immense.
“There was so much bombing, and so many deaths. Pieces of human flesh were flying in all directions. Add to that constant hunger and thirst,” an elderly woman told Gazdiev.
Children, the most vulnerable victims of the endless fighting, have been severely affected, both physically and mentally.
“There were so many killed in the airstrikes, rockets, and mortars… Our entire neighborhood is in ruins. There are maybe ten houses still standing. The children are traumatized. When the jets start flying, they start crying,” another woman said.
“It’s terrible. The kids can’t eat properly, they can’t drink properly. They’re devastated by what they’ve been through,” a middle-aged survivor told RT.
Many children have become orphans, losing their parents to war, and have to take care of their younger siblings.
Following the Iraqi military through an almost completely demolished residential neighborhood, RT’s crew filmed what was left from a building, now reduced to a pile of rubble, mixed with rotting corpses of dead ISIS militants.
Coalition air strikes are effective in killing jihadists – but they are just as deadly for civilians.
Source: Word News