MOSUL, Iraq — Iraqi security forces have faced a counter-attack for most of Thursday in central areas of western Mosul near the Bab al-Baid neighborhood, according to a Rudaw correspondent in Mosul, where people are believed to have been executed for fleeing.
Rudaw’s Sidad Lashkri reported from the Bab al-Baid neighborhood near the Mosque of Zaywani in western Mosul saying that heavy clashes have been underway since early in the morning as ISIS militants have launched a counter-attack against the advancing Iraqi troops.
Lashkri added that Iraqi forces have been intensely repelling the counterattack, killing 13 militants, including an emir of Saudi origin.
Bab al-Baid civilians had allegedly been executed as they were trying to flee the area.
"On Sunday, April 2, Al Qayara hospital handed over 22 bodies, including women and children, who were evacuated by Iraqi Forces," the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights’ (IOHR) stated Wathiq Al-Hamdani, the police chief of Nineveh province, had said in a phone conversation.
"Most of them appeared to have sustained severe impact, as they were killed by ISIS booby traps and improvised explosive devices, gunfire or mortar shells as they were trying to escape from areas under ISIS control in Bab Al-Toub, Raas Al-Jadah and Bab Al-Baid areas in the center of Mosul.”
Also on Thursday, Iraqi fighter jets have been shelling ISIS locations where militants are resisting and failing in their attempts to recapture any area lost to the Iraqi army.
On Wednesday the spokesman for the US-led coalition to defeat ISIS said Iraqi security forces are continuing to make "incremental progress" in western Mosul.
"The Iraqi security forces do continue to advance. We knew it was going to be very difficult," US Air Force Col. John Dorrian said. "We have been saying for months that the enemy has had an opportunity to dig elaborate defenses..."