Last quote about Mosul conflict
All quotes about Mosul conflict
Missy Ryan - the Post
While the Obama administration acknowledged that its military operations resulted in a number of civilian casualty incidents in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere, the tightly spaced series of recent allegations is striking. Operations against Islamic State strongholds have reached a new, more intense phase in Mosul, where local forces are battling militants in heavily populated neighborhoods, and in Syria, where the United States is seeking to deal a decisive blow to several militant groups.
Sometimes there are 10 car bombs driven into the area in one day.
General Votel is not looking into changing the way we operate other than to say our processes are good and we want to make sure we live by those processes. There (are) only so many people dedicated to this who really have the expertise to get us where we need to be.
There is no military force in the world that has proven more sensitive to civilian casualties. We go out of our way to always do everything humanly possible to reduce the loss of life or injury among innocent people. The same cannot be said for our adversaries.
We try very hard to limit casualties, but Isis blends among them. They are happy when civilians are killed. This is war and we wish it was different. They don't speak, they don't say a word when they get here. We tell them, you don't have to fear any more,' then we take them to the camps.
There are six of my family still under our house. My father, I saw him die in front of me, my brother, two sisters and two cousins. My mother survived, but then she was hit by some other explosion and a concrete slab fell on her. She's badly hurt. There is no civilian defence, no rescue teams. It is only us and our hands. Everyone has to fend for themselves.
We have ... witnessed a disturbing trend of some patients reaching our hospital after a significant delay of up to four days. One father and son that I met recently had been trapped under rubble for four days after an airstrike and they reached us exhausted, hungry and bewildered. Others who are wounded further away from the front lines into west Mosul can only reach us after the frontline has moved and they are able to escape. We are very concerned about the patients who are unable to reach us and whose treatment is delayed.
In Jinna, the attack on the mosque killed 35 civilians, and six of those were children.
We are stunned by this terrible loss of life and wish to express our deepest condolences to the many families who have reportedly been impacted by this tragedy. Nothing in this conflict is more important than protecting civilians. International humanitarian law is clear. Parties to the conflict -- all parties -- are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians. This means that combatants cannot use people as human shields and cannot imperil lives through indiscriminate use of fire-power.
We are stunned by this terrible loss of life and wish to express our deepest condolences to the many families who have reportedly been impacted by this tragedy. International humanitarian law is clear. Parties to the conflict – all parties – are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians. This means that combatants cannot use people as human shields and cannot imperil lives through indiscriminate use of fire-power. Families are at risk of being shot if they leave and they are at risk if they stay. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped and they are in terrible danger.
We are stunned by this terrible loss of life. International humanitarian law is clear. Parties to the conflict – all parties – are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians. This means that combatants cannot use people as human shields and cannot imperil lives through indiscriminate use of fire-power.
What's happening in the west part of Mosul is extremely serious and could not be tolerated under any circumstances.
The al-Jadida incident alone is the worst toll of a single incident that I can recall in decades. I cannot think of a higher toll from a single event.
They started in the morning and they continued till around 2pm. There were [Isis fighters] on the roof of several of the buildings and they were in the streets fighting, but the strange thing is that the house they were hiding in, their military room, was not even hit. None of their bases were.
This was one of their bases.
They are deep inside.
It was like World War Three.
So many families are trapped under the rubble.
There were so many explosions. It was truly terrifying.
The bombing was very tough. They used them as human shields.
We all know each other, and most of us are related. Then after that, we needed equipment to rescue the people. Just one bulldozer. Anything. The corrupt government officials could not help us, and would not if they could. This is an enormous crime.
They thought the basement was safe. That morning, I heard the bombing, and I ran to the house. There were civilians shouting. There was nothing I could do.
What can we do? It's war.
There was a lot of bombing above us, and then I started to feel everything collapse around us. We were buried for 10 hours until the neighbours dug us out. I lost my children.
Is an Isis sniper being on a roof enough of a reason to send a plane with a large bomb to destroy a house? They hit it many times. They wanted to destroy everything inside.
This process takes time, though, especially when the date of the alleged strike is in question.
Today we can say that Raqqa is encircled and the battle will begin in the coming days. It will be a very hard battle but it will be an essential battle. Daesh will lose. The combined action and the Iraqi forces and the coalition of which France is a part will gradually lead to the resumption of Mosul.
We've been on the move since yesterday. We're very tired but now we're safe. Anybody they (Islamic State) catch, they kill. If we have time, we run.
We were expecting death at any moment.
Some started to scream and cry. ... I didn't know what to do, whether to run with my kids or stay with my mother and wife.
The situation is really intense. Every case we receive in the operating theater is severe, and almost every day we have to deal with mass casualties. They are all putting their life at risk to flee a city under siege.
The need for emergency medical care has risen drastically. We have teams working around the clock treating men, women and children injured by bullets, blasts and shells. Other life-threatening emergencies also need a rapid medical response, such as for pregnant women in need of a caesarean.
We are a few hundred meters from the mosque now, we are advancing on al-Nuri. We know it means a lot to Daesh.
Support will not only continue but will accelerate. But of course we have to be careful here. We are not talking about military confrontation as such. Committing troops is one thing, while fighting terrorism is another thing.
There are lots of snipers on top of the buildings in the Old City around the al-Nuri Mosque. We need to evacuate the families from inside as they using them as a shield when we are advancing on the mosque.
It's not an easy job. It's a very tough job. Your soldiers are fighting hard. I know Mosul is moving along … We will figure something out. Our main thrust is we have to get rid of ISIS. We're going to get rid of ISIS. It will happen. It's happening right now. Mosul was ours until we left. So, perhaps we shouldn't have gone in, and certainly we shouldn't have left. We certainly should never, ever have left, and the vacuum was created.
We (would) love to see more funds so that we can quickly (regain) prosperity and stabilization in these areas. It's not an easy job. It's a very tough job. Your soldiers are fighting hard. I know Mosul is moving along. ... We will figure something out.
We have to be careful. We have to bring back trust in the way we govern. It will be sad day for all of us if people believe a dictatorship is better than democracy. Because if democracy doesn't protect them, doesn't provide for them, if there is corruption, ... I think we failed. We have been given assurances support will not only continue, but will accelerate until we complete the task. Mosul is moving along. We will figure something out. I mean, we have to get rid of ISIS. We're going to get rid of ISIS.
In the rubble there is nothing. If there is water maybe we will go back. We're heading to the east we have family. We can't stay in those camps.
We are advancing towards the Old City. Their resistance is weakening. They are mostly using car bombs and that is how they are losing on the ground.
The weather is cloudy and rainy, but despite this, our forces are advancing towards their targets, and in a few steps and strikes we will reach the al-Nuri mosque, where ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was based.
Now, they are forced to fight to the death.
Every one of my patients, the first thing they say when they approach my clinic is 'I'm hungry'. The population of Mosul's west is different from the east. Here you have more people in poverty, they couldn't afford to prepare for the siege.
We couldn't even take the bodies to the cemetery because the clashes were so heavy. We had to just bury them where they fell.
We're going to strike ISIS wherever we can so that the Iraqis can be successful.
We are advancing toward the Old City. Their resistance is weakening. They are mostly using car bombs and that shows they are losing on the ground.
The rockets go really high so we have to clear airspace -– civilian and military -– along the flight path. We have had to end missions because they saw aviation. They have very, very low collateral damage, so we like to use them a lot. When the rockets hit they land at near a vertical angle. That really confines the blast to one house. The tempo changes. We'll go a couple of days without orders. Then we might be firing all night.
We love to fire. It makes me very happy. At night it is very beautiful.
Daesh become day after day surrounded inside a tight area and they are in their final days. Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday night, he warned the insurgents that they must surrender or be killed although he also pledged to treat the militants' families fairly. Let me be very clear, we will preserve families of Daesh who are civilians but we will punish the terrorists and bring them to justice if they surrender. They are cornered and if they will not surrender they will definitely get killed.
Daesh wanted us to move to their areas but we escaped when the army arrived.
We are still moving toward the Iron Bridge. We are taking out snipers hiding in the surrounding building, we are still pushing for the Iron Bridge.
We fled at 5 a.m. (0200 GMT) after the army had arrived. There has been a lot of shelling by Daesh. Mostly we've been eating water mixed with tomatoes.
ISIS has now lost over 60 percent of the territory it once held here in Iraq and is losing more every day. In total, in Iraq and Syria, coalition-enabled operations – that means our coalition supporting local partners, including Iraqi security forces – have cleared 50,000 square kilometres of territory from ISIS.
I ask any kind people out there to help me get a prosthetic hand, God willing.
My brother swore allegiance to them. He was trying to get me out. He didn't stay long, and as soon as they cut my hand, he quit.
I have had nothing and so I haven't been producing milk.
Just when you think they are looking weak, they come back stronger.
Daesh knows they are losing and are lashing out at freed areas to punish the people. They will not win this war, but it about saving the lives of as many people as we can before they are defeated.
As you can see the digging was very extensive and it includes a ramified tunnel network, with one tunnel leading to another in an attempt to dig as large an area as possible in order to unearth and loot artefacts.
We were in the middle of heavy fire.
It was a very well-planned trap. It was complete chaos.
We don't shell randomly.
The only thing they care about is how many areas they take each day. They want to prove that they are better than us at the expense of civilians.
It looks like they were expecting this attack and didn't want to give it up easily.
We took it for half a day, and then we were attacked very hard.
There have been a lot of our guys wounded today in the same area.
The battles have been hard.
We've already had around 20 people come in for treatment (on Thursday) - about 70 percent civilian, but it's been more military (casualties) up until today.
We've not really advanced for three days now. Two of our teams went further forward, on a sort of recce mission, and raised the Iraqi flag on top of a tall hotel that (Islamic State) snipers have been using, then came back. The flag will probably be taken down again by the militants.
Despite the tough fighting… we are moving ahead in persistence to finish the battle for the western side within a month.
They want their own history. Especially in a city like Mosul where the people are very proud of their history, I think (IS) did this as a form of revenge. Most Iraqi people are focused on their own survival, and the government is not concerned with heritage.
These are the remains of a lamassu and the lions of Nimrud. They were priceless, they were in perfect condition.
It's standard procedure for all museums (in Iraq).
Today we're clearing the area which was liberated. The museum is completely empty of all artifacts. They were stolen, possibly smuggled. An order was issued for foreign fighters with families to withdraw with them. Those who do not have a family should stay and fight, whether foreign or local.
There will be other commanders rising because the structure of the organization remains.
Daesh came to Iraq to destroy our heritage because they don't have their own.
They have two choices – either they surrender and receive a fair trial or they will be killed. Some are escaping but even the escape path is closed now. They have no hope so that is why they should surrender.
The situation is not good honestly, there is so much destruction.
We were pulled back because we had killed and wounded. The (Iraqi) forces there are surrounded, the Humvees cannot reach them, nor can the ambulances.
Reaching here is a message to the people of Mosul that the enemy that used to suffocate them is officially finished.
In the coming hours, our forces will raise the Iraqi flag over the governorate building.
The first cases who arrived were a mother and her five children, aged from 1 month to 11 years. It was certainly [the result of] a toxic chemical agent, because their symptoms were absolutely clear. People had blisters, they vomited. They had irritation in the eyes and coughed.
Since 1st March, the hospital that our medical team and surgeons are currently working at received 15 people that showed that they some sort of exposure to chemical agents. There are blisters. A lot of them came coughing, vomiting, (or had) redness in the eye.
For the United Kingdom this is a further evidence of the bilateral support that we are giving and continue to give to Iraq, to help Iraq move forward to recover from the ravages of Daesh.
This is horrible. If the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed, this is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime.
This is horrible, there is never justification – none whatsoever – for the use of chemical weapons.
There was a hiss of gas, and then we were suffocating.
We rushed to get them out but they were all under the rubble.
I changed my clothes and had a shower, but it was still burning my skin.
This is horrible. There is never justification – none whatsoever – for the use of chemical weapons.
We have noted a significant increase in displacement in the last week, 30,000 in west Mosul, 4,000 a day or so.
We have noted a significant increase in displacement in last week, 30,000 in west Mosul, 4,000 a day or so.
Of course the military fighting is intensifying by the day.
Raqqa is more of an abstract goal: everyone wants it in principle, but no one is willing to commit the resources and bear the risks necessary. Witness the slow and ugly progress in Mosul as well. Raqqa would be tough.
All the families were hiding behind a wall. We gave the children valium so they wouldn't cry and (the IS fighters) wouldn't catch us.
During the past two days, the hospital has admitted five children and two women showing clinical symptoms consistent with an exposure to a blistering chemical agent. We strongly condemn any use of chemical weapons, by any party, anywhere.
In total 7,000 people fled through this area last night. We were up all night trying to control the crowds.
If you want to scare someone from Mosul, just mention the khasfa.
It's swallowed the lives of thousands. It was terrifying, very deep and dark.
It will take ages for them to decontaminate the site and excavate. De-miners are rightly prioritizing decontaminating areas that displaced people are returning to.
We have been working around the clock to clear landmines in Mosul and make villages, schools and homes safe to go back to, but more support is needed if we are to prevent further civilian casualties.
There was one family that I met in a village [Wardak] near Mosul and I came across this guy and his daughter who were putting sheep in a pen. It was quite picturesque, so I took some photos. Six weeks later I went back and I found out the guy's 14-year-old son had died. He'd been playing and dancing to music on his phone and went to check on the sheep, in the same place he'd been going to repeatedly, and there was an explosion. His father ran barefoot over to where it happened and his son's legs had been blown off and his body burnt to a toast.
In the coming day we will clear the government buildings.
There were two IS fighters there, one with a suicide belt. A coalition plane saw them and killed them with an airstrike.
We stayed out of fear of ISIL. People escaping were caught. Their men were killed and the women were left tied up out in the cold as punishment.
None of the main road has been liberated yet. Honestly it was a very fierce fight.
Many of them were killed, and for those who are still positioned in the residential neighborhoods, they either pull back or get killed are our forces move forward.
There is a limit to what we can endure. We are humans made of flesh and blood.
He's not Iraqi. He's probably not an Arab. The closer we get to the center, the more we come up against the foreigners.
They don't flee like the locals.
His mind was fragile and they took advantage of that, promising him virgins and lecturing him about being a good Muslim. If someone had tempted him with drugs and alcohol, he probably would have done that instead.
Even now I'm still astounded. I don't know how they convinced him to join. I'm just glad we could bury him and put this whole thing to rest.
Most of those who arrive to this point are hungry and thirsty and suffering neglect, and need medical care.
The more we advance, the fiercer the resistance.
He said Iraqi troops suffered casualties, but didn't give a specific number.
The neighborhood is fully liberated. We are clearing it up and beefing up fortifications.
Inside Mamun the streets are full of bodies. I saw twenty dead with my own eyes, many of them children.
There was resistance from the enemy and it was very strong, as they used car bombs and drones. But thank God, they couldn't hit their targets and we are dealing with is. And right now, the advance is continuing.
There is an exodus of civilians especially from the districts of El Mamoune, Tel el romane and Tel el rayane, they are being evacuated via secured passages towards areas further back so that they can then be driven to safe zones.
We could hear their voices outside and 15 minutes later they were gone.
Clearing operations are ongoing and our forces have entered those areas.
We are now fighting Daesh at the southern edge of the city. We are trying to breach trenches and high berm they used as defensive line.
There are many injured still inside.
The counterterrorism forces will be an additional force, which will expedite the liberation of Mosul's western side.
The counter-terrorism forces will be an additional force which will expedite the liberation of Mosul's western side.
Our forces started a major operation early this morning to storm the airport of Mosul and the Ghozlani base to dislodge Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists. We can confirm that the Mosul airport militarily has fallen and it's a matter of short time to fully control it.
This gallery is a message from me to the environmental organisations as well as civil society organisations to raise awareness of the remnants of war that we have been exposed to. Wars that have been imposed on us. In this gallery I tried to collect these remains and turn them into creative artistic pieces.
In these paintings, I used no paint. I used only the burning technique. Burning has become a phenomenon in our society because of the many times that the environment has been burnt here. And therefore I used the burning style for the paintings.
The next step, God willing, is to advance to the Ghozlani military base.
It is estimated that up to 250,000 people could be displaced. Almost 217,000 have fled the hostilities since the start of the offensive on October 17, and around a 160,000 of those are still displaced. Others have returned to their homes, in newly retaken areas. But the situation remains fluid and is of course terrifying for those who are trapped or affected by the fighting.
If they decide to stay they might get caught in the crossfire. If they flee, they face a very dangerous journey, going across front lines, maybe being shot at by ISIS. Also, there are a lot of landmines and explosive devices lying around the city. We've seen from other places in Iraq that have previously been held by ISIS, people have come across these devices and been killed and injured by them. It's a pretty impossible decision either way.
I was afraid it would be too dangerous for them.
The coalition forces are in support of this operation and we will continue ... with the accelerated effort to destroy ISIS.
We're going to make certain that we've got good situational awareness of what we face as we work together and fight alongside each other.
The attack into the city is something I don't want to go into details about because I owe confidentiality to the troops who are actually making the attack. At the same time we are very close to it if not already engaged in that, in that fight. The U.S. forces continue in the same role that they were in East Mosul and the coalition forces are in support of this operation, and we will continue as you know with the accelerated effort to destroy ISIS.
The situation is distressing. People, right now, are in trouble. We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes.
We call on our brave troops to start the push to liberate the rest of the city, to liberate people from the oppression and terrorism of Daesh. Our main mission is to liberate the people before liberating the land.
Our mission is to liberate people before land.
There is concern that the hardest fighting is about to begin. We know that it has been difficult for people to leave Mosul. Sometimes it is just too much shooting, there is a problem with bridges to get out of the city. There were five bridges originally, now I believe there are non in operation. So you have a lot of different problems, that leave desperate people, vulnerable people, in a position that they really do need assistance but they can't get out.
Three out of five people now depend on untreated water from wells for cooking and drinking as water systems and treatment plants have been damaged by fighting or run out of chlorine.
"The situation is distressing,". "People, right now, are in trouble. We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes.".
"The situation is distressing. People, right now, are in trouble,". "We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes.".
Mosul would be a tough fight for any army in the world, and the Iraqi forces have risen to the challenge. They have taken the fight to the enemy and sacrificed their blood for the people of Iraq and the rest of the world.
"The situation is distressing. People, right now, are in trouble,". "We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes,".
The situation is distressing. People, right now, are in trouble. We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes. We don't know what will happen during the military campaign but we have to be ready for all scenarios. Tens of thousands of people may flee or be forced to leave the city. Hundreds of thousands of civilians might be trapped – maybe for weeks, maybe for months.
"They had this window to regain the trust," "but they're losing that opportunity."
This was where they had their base. These people were ignorant and very cruel to us. Now I'm proud to help the security forces find them and punish them.
They had this window to regain the trust, but they're losing that opportunity.
Based on reports of insecurity, the U.N. decided that we would not send missions into eastern parts of Mosul until we reassess security conditions, . This has now been done and we expect to reengage as soon as possible, hopefully within the next day or so.
It is just paint, it can be erased. But from inside, we have to reform from the inside, to fix our ideologies and our concept of humanity. How to make others love us and to be loved by us, how to understand and to be understood, how to coexist together. That is the difficult part. That is very difficult. It will take generations.
What is there to come back to, destruction? Our beautiful city, where we used to live happily, go to parties, and now we come back to this? To this destruction and injustice? They burned down homes and this…this is a tragedy. My uncle's house has become like this (church) isn't this pitiful? It is pitiful.
"I hope that isolation will be completed by the spring and then operations to liberate Raqqa itself can begin thereafter,". "Raqqa is a much smaller city than Mosul but will clearly be defended very vigorously by Daesh and that means the operation to liberate Raqqa has to be very carefully prepared, as the operation for Mosul was,". "Once Raqqa is liberated after Mosul, we will see the beginning of the end of this terrible caliphate,".
I hope that isolation will be completed by the (northern) spring and then operations to liberate Raqqa itself can begin thereafter. Raqqa is a much smaller city than Mosul but will clearly be defended very vigorously by Daesh and that means the operation to liberate Raqqa has to be very carefully prepared, as the operation for Mosul was. Once Raqqa is liberated after Mosul, we will see the beginning of the end of this terrible caliphate.
We need support from the central government for intelligence work.
"Within the next six months I think we'll see both (the Mosul and Raqqa campaigns) conclude.". "It will be a more difficult fight, more constricted,". "ISIL morphing into an insurgent threat, that's the future,". "I don't know. We would have to refocus training in those areas".
Within the next six months I think we'll see both (the Mosul and Raqqa campaigns) conclude. It will be a more difficult fight, more constricted. ISIL morphing into an insurgent threat, that's the future. I don't know. We would have to refocus training in those areas.
The Mosul battle is keeping all these forces together. When the fight is over, we don't know what kind of pressures ... will be in place; that's why it is very important for the Iraqis to start this exercise right now. This is going to be a parallel track. We will make sure that money will flow ... towards reconstruction and rebuilding, but at the same to make reconstruction and rebuilding sustainable, we will need to make sure the social contract is being drawn in a way that would allow for the infrastructure to remain solid.
The bodies should stay. Daesh killed lots of people so why should they be buried.
Do you know what smoking one, just one cigarette meant? Twenty-five lashes in a public square where people were forced to watch you suffer.
We will leave the terrorists there. The message is clear to Iraqis, to keep them from joining or supporting Daesh (Islamic State). This will be your fate. The Iraqi army will finish you off.
They have no escape route in the west so they will fight to the death.
Some men were fed only a few potatoes per week. Others were only allowed to eat three dates per day. They became battle-ready here.
They hide in their homes and provide information about the jihadists. Their movements, their weapons.
The weapon of choice is the drone. The snipers are highly effective. They are foreign fighters, the most committed.
It all depends on how the army behaves. If there are abuses again, a new generation of Daesh (Islamic State) fighters will be back.
We start our program at a very basic level. When they arrive, they do not have any skills.
We hope they will return to be retrained.
This will be the biggest challenge.
They need aid. The area was not liberated before. Now it is and the families who were displaced are returning. It is difficult to bring in food so we are trying to get aid from our branch in Irbil.
It would be arrogance for you (Americans) to enter Iraq and other countries freely while barring them entrance to your country ... and therefore you should get your nationals out.
They watch us, we watch them.
The terrorist driving that bulldozer is burning. He is cooked.
We are racing against the clock to prepare for this. The reports from inside western Mosul are distressing. Prices of basic food and supplies are soaring ... Many families without income are eating only once a day. Others are being forced to burn furniture to stay warm.
They just lined people up and shot them in the head.
They were driving me to be executed and they got distracted so I kicked open the window of the vehicle and escaped. This was a big game by Americans and Iran to ruin Iraq. When Islamic State arrived with a small force the politicians and army ran away. Someone had to be behind them.
We are relieved that so many people in the eastern sections of Mosul have been able to stay in their homes. We hope that everything is done to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who are across the river in the west. We know that they are at extreme risk and we fear for their lives. The reports from inside western Mosul are distressing. We don't know what will happen in western Mosul but we cannot rule out the possibility of siege-like conditions or a mass exodus. They can be killed by booby-traps and in cross-fire and could be used as human shields.
Attributing responsibility for air strikes is very difficult. It is clear that civilians are being killed in air strikes.
Our role is bigger now than it was two or three years ago because you need to deal with the children's psychological state before you can teach them. For us to do this we need better coordination between the teachers themselves and the entire education system.
We were told that the neighbours would hear screaming from the house. They imprisoned anyone that challenged them. Anyone who refused to fight for them.
We expect to enter the west in the next few days.
God willing, there will be a meeting in the next few days attended by all the commanders concerned with liberation operations. It will not be harder than what we have seen. The majority of (IS) commanders have been killed in the eastern side.
God willing, there will be an announcement in the next few days that all the eastern bank is under control.
The east side of Mosul, including the most important areas, are under our control. The information we have about the operation in the north and south, is that the Iraqi forces have also finished their duties, but there still remain small places to be fully controlled.
Terrorism uses the weapon of sectarianism in Iraq and Syria ... in order to drive people and communities apart and take control of them. (We must) not allow the conditions that existed before Daesh (Islamic State).
The question is, can they keep that trust? Intelligence in cities retaken from IS (near the capital) is weak. They've used local sources to arrest people, but suspects are often released with a bribe.
Rebuilding, bringing law and order, and returning the displaced ... could be a road map for achieving calm.
We've certainly seen ISIS move to a slightly higher tempo at the start of the year. It's going to be a long struggle because these networks adapt, so you might disrupt them for a six-month period but they're determined to reappear.
We've begun breaching [the area] but there was an attack a few moments ago. By the end of the day we'll make some progress.
We're not stopping.
The university is completely liberated and forces are sweeping the complex for any hiding militants. Most buildings are booby-trapped so we're being cautious.
We've seen teenagers with sniper fire to the back of their heads, six-year-olds shot in the abdomen, people with wounds in their back as they were trying to run away. When they were injured in Mosul, they had to make a two to three-hour trip through checkpoints, ambulance transfer, and people were actually dying trying to get help.
They do not know the area so the motorcycle guides the suicide car bomb (to its target) and tells the fighters, You go here, you go there. Go detonate her.
You can still see some of their corpses.
We have all the different things that I work with in a hospital in the United States. They receive great care ... Time is very important. The close proximity to the front lines, though it's more dangerous, is what's saving patients' lives.
Then there is bombardment to destroy the house, to destroy the sniper position. But the sniper will pop up again here or there.
For the sake of Allah, get out.
We broke through the terrorists' defenses, and we destroyed their lines and their units and their bases.
This was an important stronghold for ISIL, knowing that they had their headquarters here. They certainly had equipment and well-prepared bases here, so they tried to hold on to the area at first, but the fast advance and the strong attack by our forces pushed them out.
Work still needs to be done but ISIL's days in Mosul are quickly coming to an end.
The entire university has been burned. I think it will take at least two or three years to rebuild.
They had reinforced their positions and had plans. They knew where to come in and where to get out.
Slowly, as people are able to go back to work, life will return to normal, step by step.
The clamp was used to hold a finger like this. Finding things like this in Mosul is normal.
The forces who have the skills to fight guerrilla warfare is only the Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS). They have flexibility and can act quickly.
We believe that the support of our American friends is continuing and ongoing.
There are many variables.
Now there are people entering and people leaving. The ones who left are returning, and those who are leaving now are coming from ... neighbourhoods where there are currently clashes.
Trauma casualties remain extremely high, particularly near front lines.
Whenever they withdraw from a district, they shell it at random, and it's heavy shelling. In the 10 days since we were liberated, the bombs haven't stopped. Shells fall every day near the house and we've seen civilians killed and wounded several times.
The challenge is that they [Islamic State] are hiding among civilian families, that's why our advances are slow and very cautious. The families, when they see Iraqi forces coming, flee from the areas controlled by Daesh [IS] towards the Iraqi forces, holding up white flags, and Daesh bombs them with mortars and Molotov cocktails, and also shoots at them.
Whenever they (ISIS) withdraw from a district, they shell it at random, and it's heavy shelling.
Thank God, our forces are liberating neighbourhood after neighbourhood.
We are proceeding side by side ... and advancing at the same level. This is a very important factor, thanks to which Daesh (Islamic State) has not been able to move its fighters. It has to support one axis (front) at the expense of another.
Iraq's sovereignty is very important for us, we will not allow or be involved in any attempt or move to hurt its sovereignty.
This shows in the best way what we can do together and against terror.
We discussed the issue of Bashiqa. We see that significant progress is being made in cleansing Daesh from the region. In line with this we will solve this (Bashiqa) subject in some way in a friendly way.
We have worn down the terrorist organization with this type of advance.
They have been in the city at different times, yes. They've advised Iraqi Security Forces as they've moved forward. They remain behind the forward line of troops.
We used special equipment and had the element of surprise - the enemy did not expect us to mount a night offensive because all previous offensives were during the day.
The Iraqi army today has combat experience it has won in the war against terrorism ... and is achieving victories and is clearing cities and villages. The fight against terrorism is in its final round. Our forces ... will cut off the head of the snake and clear all of Mosul soon, with God's help.
"We used special equipment and had the element of surprise - the enemy did not expect us to mount a night offensive because all previous offensives were during the day,"
We're seeing progress: before where we were seeing progress mostly on one main axis and halting progress on the others, now we're actually seeing forward movement on all of the axes in eastern Mosul.
Roughly 65-70 percent of the eastern side has been liberated. I think in the coming few days we will see the full liberation of the eastern side.
Daesh (Islamic State) devised many plans to obstruct and block us but they failed. We were able to surpass them and these areas were liberated with high speed.
We have intelligence that (Islamic State) leaders and their families are fleeing outside Iraq.
They give us information about the location of the terrorists, their movements and weapons that has helped us pursue them and arrest some and kill others.
The terrorists will attempt to attack civilians in order to make up for their losses, but we assure the Iraqi people and the world that we are able to end terrorism and shorten its life.
I see the commanders' reporting coming in and I see the exquisiteness of their SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) system, the sophistication of their SVBIEDs continuing to get lower and lower, the boom of the different IEDs continuing to have a lower yield - all tell me that the enemy's capacity is diminishing over time. We see that as a positive indicator.
We must also prepare a political solution for Mosul's post-liberation so that its inhabitants can live together.
We are determined to annihilate terrorism and we are able to shorten its age.
We have no idea who will kill at any moment and who's supposed to protect us. If the securities forces can't protect us, then allow us to do the job.
There's in excess of 200,000 buildings. Let's say that there's six rooms in each building ... That's 1.2 million rooms that they've got to contend with and make sure that are clear. That's 1.2 million rooms that they've got to discriminate between the enemy and the civilians that live there.
We will fight them like (we fight) all jihadists ... since they are attacking us, since they prepare attacks on our own territory. We are preparing for these returns and the very particular processing of these children. Everything that contributes to reconstructing Iraq is an additional step to avoiding Daesh strikes on our own territory. Daesh is stepping back and Daesh will be defeated.
On the fourth day, our troops were able to liberate the Intisar neighbourhood as well as the Saha neighbourhood. They are now clearing the Salam neighbourhood, they are clashing with the enemy. Large numbers of our enemy were killed yesterday.
The ambition of IS or Daesh [Arabic acronym of Islamic State] is definitely mass-casualty attacks. They want to harm as many people as possible and terrorize as many people as possible. The big concern is if Mosul collapses and all the other bases of Isis collapse. We know there are a significant number of [Britons] fighting for IS in Syria. They will probably want to come home.
We took her in with open arms and were able to get some information from her about the neighbourhood, which proved useful during our attack and advance on the Quds neighbourhood.
We have survived only by divine intervention.
Nothing will change tonight.
The camp is the lesser of two evils. Life in Mosul now kills you. What happens in 2017 is in the hands of God alone, but let me tell you this: My escape, thanks be to God, has given me a new life.
We Sunnis are marginalized. The security forces ran away and left us with Daesh in 2014. Now they suspect us of being terrorists.
There is a battle in Argoob area, which is considered the gateway to Hadba.
We have not seen Daesh [Islamic State] since the Iraqi forces restarted their offensive. We hear the sounds of large car bombs. Today I heard no fewer than 10 huge explosions.
Societal reconciliation is the appropriate answer to Daesh.
The government needs to have a security outpost in every neighbourhood . If not, the situation will be very dire. They cannot leave us to kill each other, as they did before Daesh took the city.
It (Tel Keyf) is surrounded from the other sides and by our forces here.
They arrested me while sleeping at friend's house on the east side. They suspected me when I showed them my ID that says I live on the other side.
The Americans were very pessimistic, talking about very long timescales, but victories achieved by our brave fighters over ISIL have helped reduce this period in Syria and Iraq to two years. I believe that in Iraq it might take three months.
We escaped death. We left everything, our homes and belongings. Life under Daesh was bad, they treated us poorly, no-one had any money. We are taking our children to the camps so we can live.
It was more of a wild wild west then. We didn't know if something was going to go down and when they needed you to call for fires. It's a little more calm this time around. We still shoot, we know we're here in support of the Iraqi army. There's still enemy out there but we're not as into actual direct combat as we were back then.
I thought back in 2011 when we closed it all out, it was going to be finalised then. But being back here is totally different. I've seen (the Iraqi army) pick themselves up a lot. They have a better standard now.
Anything we can do to assist them in their operation forward with us not actually squeezing the trigger. So we'll move forward with them, but we're not the ones that make contact.
We are deepening our integration with them. We are now pushing that into more of the Iraqi formations pushing forward, some formations that we haven't partnered with in the past where we are now partnering with them. That was always a smaller niche mission. Well, this is our mission now and it is big and we are embedded inside their formations.
It is a mix of sadness and happiness. We are sad to see what has been done to our holiest places by our own countrymen, but at the same time we are happy to celebrate the first Mass after two years.
It's the church where I was baptised, where I was educated, where I was taught the faith.
The whole town would have come to the church if they had the means.
This amount is for one month and it's not enough. It's just enough for three or four people, but not for the families.
I'm a new arrival and the organisation distributes the aid according to food cards. Many internally displaced people who came before us have already received aid. They distribute it according to the date on the food card.
We have always had opportunities to work side-by-side, but we have never been embedded to this degree. That was always a smaller niche mission. Well, this is our mission now and it is big and we are embedded inside their formations.
They are different environments as you look at these areas. It's like saying Manhattan and Brooklyn are the same area. Clearly there's a different composition to them as you look at the two areas and that's the way this is as well.
When that momentum has the appearance of irreversibility then I think that we'll see a much more rapid seizure and clearance that occurs on the east side ... we're not (there yet).
We face many difficulties because they come without their relatives, most of them are children, they're crying and it's hard to communicate with them, and sometimes we need to get medicines from outside the hospital.
People waiting for aid are already vulnerable and need help. They should be protected, not attacked.
As long as I live I won't forget that moment they cut off my brother's hand. Then they tied down my hand. They had to hit it twice to cut it off. I wanted the ground to open up.
The key objective is to . . . make sure that the terrorists lose the ability to regroup and launch counter attacks against advancing forces.
We are targeting full control of the desert areas along the Syrian border.
The seizure of these two cities is necessary to ... put ISIL on an irreversible path to a lasting defeat.
Everything is going according to the plan of a year ago.
This is a complex mission that will take time to accomplish, but I am confident that ISIL's days in Mosul are numbered.
The Iraqi army has come back from near-defeat two years ago, and now they are attacking this major city. I don't think there is anything in there about a stalemate.
By our calculations, we think we have killed or badly wounded over 2,000.
Artillery provides us with flexibility to conduct precision strikes.
The government agreed to Iran's request, thinking that it would take a long time for the Hashid to get to the road to Syria, and during that time the escape route would be open and the battle would still proceed as planned.
The first plan had the shape of a horseshoe, allowing for the population and the militants to retreat westward as the main thrust of the offensive came from the east.
The battle has taken a different shape since then - no food, no fuel is reaching Mosul and Daesh (Islamic State) fighters are bent on fighting to the end.
Iran has no interest here. The majority of these statements are mere analysis - they are simply not true.
The opening and closing of that corridor, hypothetically, realistically, did not fundamentally change the plans of the battle. It changes how we prosecute the fight, but that does not necessarily make it easier or harder.
They've got 15 years of war (experience)... I can't think of anyone more calibrated to make that decision and as a result that why as a coalition we supported the government of Iraq's decision. The opening and closing of that corridor, hypothetically, realistically, did not fundamentally change the plans of the battle. It changes how we prosecute the fight, but that does not necessarily make it easier or harder.
The Iraqi army and popular forces must defeat it in Mosul, otherwise, they will be obliged to move to eastern Syria in order to fight the terrorist group.
Starting before dawn, we heard more than 20 air strikes.
The hospital was a Daesh base. They were treating their wounded there.
What we thought was going to be the strongest defence, now they have already hedged their bets and brought it forward.
What we thought was going to be the strongest defense, now they have already hedged their bets and bought it forward. The quality of the enemy we are facing now is markedly declined from a month ago... what they were saving for the west side of the river they are now committing to the east.
They are well rehearsed, well trained, well resourced and they have had ample time to prepare, and that has made it a formidable fight.
It's a complex urban, Old World city that has two years of deliberate defense. We as the coalition knew that it was going to take a long time.
Every day we kill some of them. But all the time Daesh is sending more.
He just took a few steps outside and was hit.
We just want you to push them out.
We're hoping to bring winter assistance to more than a million displaced Iraqis but funding is an issue and we urgently need extra money to be able to fund all our winter assistance programmes.
It was raining mortars on us. There were snipers. And a rocket landed in the middle of the front yard. Inside the garage.
We have received these items. But we need heating oil. They're here. Blankets, a heater, but we don't have water, drinking water. All the tankers around here are empty. There is no water in them. We want them to be filled so we can live. Yesterday we were freezing. There is no heating oil.
We couldn't resist them, we didn't have weapons and they would kill anyone against them. When the security forces approached our neighborhood, all the Daesh fighters fled with their families deeper inside Mosul.
Over four hours, they launched more than 200 mortars.
You can't just liberate land, you need to also take care of the people.
Daesh attacked at dawn to try to control the village Tal Zalat. Clashes continued for two hours, until Daesh withdrew, leaving bodies (of dead fighters) behind.
Almost every night they shoot at us from those same positions.
That's why you see a delay.
This tactic is beginning to lose momentum.
Our soldiers are busy fighting Daesh. They have no time to write this. In any case 'We answer your call, O Hussein' is just an expression of joy over the liberation from Daesh. It's known that Imam Hussein is a symbol of the revolution from oppression.
Look at this. The army should be neutral and not painting such things on walls.
In previous operations, either in Tikrit, Ramadi or Falluja, there were no civilians ... (we had) freedom of action to use our weapons. The instructions from the commander-in-chief (Abadi) are for the civilians to stay in their homes.
Our position aligns with the government of Iraq, which is that civilians should shelter in place - that's the safest thing.
What we are saying is: 'Our brothers in Mosul, your units are coming. They will liberate you and stay with you.
It is likely that we will see long, drawn-out fighting with very serious suffering of a population that will once again be caught between two front lines. It is reasonable to expect that this is going to take weeks if not months.
But it is true, as soon as the fighting intensifies and there are big battles, that there are situations where individual hospitals will have difficulties to cope with the number of wounded. We have trained and equipped our staff for possible small-scale use of chemical weapons, but we have also prepared some of these medical facilities with training and equipment to receive people affected by chemical weapons.
We have free access to these screening centers, we can monitor the screening.
The original idea of the government as they told me, government officials, is that people should stay in their houses as much as possible. But of course the longer the fighting will be drawn out, the more people will probably try to flee.
I call it a peace budget rather than a war budget, as much of the military expenses will go down with the liberating of Mosul this year, ending major battles. By then, we'll see more surpluses to cover other areas.
We all come here to buy cloths.
My goods now come from Kalak. I didn't know the traders. They were recommended to me by Kurdish friends. Beforehand everything I sold came from Syria.
The role of the security forces is to protect the Iraqi people and we will support the security forces if that is requested from us.
I lost my three sons in front of my eyes at that ominous checkpoint.