Events in Syria and Iraq have been on our feeds and on TV non-stop for almost six years as the terrorist group Daesh has tortured and murdered innocent civilians, conducted terrorist attacks, and driven residents out of their homes.
But recently the city of Mosul in Iraq has taken centre stage. The ongoing battle has made the situation volatile, and it can seem very confusing, so we have decided to show you three main bits of information you need to know.
Where is Mosul and why is it so important?
Mosul is one of Iraq’s biggest cities, in the north of the country. It was taken over by the terrorist group, Daesh, in the summer of 2014.
Mosul is significant because it is the last major stronghold for Daesh in the whole of Iraq. Its liberation will mean that Daesh will be unable to transport of supplies to the other cities it controls, which can only be a good thing in the fight against them.
But Daesh is not giving up Mosul easily. It is using all its power to keep hold of the city through suicide bombs, IED’s and other desperate means, with little regard for civilian life. This makes it even more important for the Iraqi army and international forces to fight harder to regain Mosul and move one step closer to defeating Daesh.
So who is involved in the fighting in Mosul?
The operation to retake Mosul currently involves 30,000 troops from the Iraqi army and Kurdish troops. There are also the US, British and French special forces, who are helping with air strikes against Daesh targets and providing strategic support to Iraqi troops.
US defence secretary, Ash Carter recently said “The United States and the rest of the international coalition stand ready to support Iraqi security forces, Peshmerga fighters and the people of Iraq in the difficult fight ahead. We are confident our Iraqi partners will prevail against our common enemy and free Mosul and the rest of Iraq from ISIL’s hatred and brutality.”
What about the people of Mosul?
While Daesh has banned civilians from leaving the city, many have managed to flee, venturing through minefields or risking discovery and harsh punishment by Daesh.
Others who stay face the possibility of being used as human shields by Daesh, as they have done in other cities . The people stuck in Mosul have even started digging bomb shelters and stocking up on food, but are mostly staying home trying to avoid the conflict. Humanitarian aid organisations are trying their hardest to come up with solutions, but Daesh will not let them access the city.
There are plenty of charities out there that can help you support individuals suffering from the situation in Mosul, which means it only takes a bit of research to find the perfect one for you.
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