Civilians trying to flee the besieged Isis-held enclave in west Mosul are being shot dead by Isis and Iraqi army snipers as they try to cross the Tigris River, says an eyewitness trapped inside the city with his family.
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Jasim, a 33-year old Iraqi Sunni living in west Mosul near the 5th Bridge, said: “I want to rescue my mother and take her to the eastern part, but it is dangerous. Three people were killed in our neighbourhood trying to cross the river to the eastern side. They were shot dead by the snipers.”
Jasim explained that “Daesh (Isis) have snipers who cover the river bank between the 5th and 6th bridges”.
“The problem is that even at night things are not that easy,” he said. “The Iraqi army, the federal police and counter-terror forces shoot anyone coming from the western side as there is curfew at night and they believe anyone coming from the western side must be a Daesh fighter.” As a result, civilians are being killed by both Iraqi army mortars and Isis snipers when they try to escape. On several occasion in the past, the Iraqi security forces have announced that they have killed Isis infiltrators seeking to cross the Tigris from the west and these may have been civilians trying to escape.
Speaking about civilian casualties inside his neighbourhood, Jasim says that “dozens of civilians are killed every day, including children. Yesterday, two children were…