UN expands civilian camps as Mosul airstrikes resume

A member of the Iraqi forces adjusts a mortar launcher at a position in western Mosul on Tuesday, during an offensive to retake the city from IS jihadists. (AFP)
Updated 05 April 2017

UN expands civilian camps as Mosul airstrikes resume

IRBIL: The UN said on Tuesday it is expanding camps for displaced people around Mosul, as airstrikes resumed on Daesh positions in Iraq’s second largest city.
More than 300,000 people have fled Mosul since the start of the US-backed campaign in October, the office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq said in a statement.
Mosul had a pre-campaign population of about a million and half, split more or less evenly between the sides lying east and west of the Tigris river that runs through the middle.
Iraqi forces captured the eastern side in January and in February launched a second phase to take the western side, with air and ground support from a US-led coalition.
They are now battling to take the northwestern part, but the civilian death toll has mounted in the densely populated Old City, where the militants are dug in among residents.
More people are expected to flee the fighting and camps for the displaced north and east of Mosul are expanding, the UN statement said.
Airstrikes on the city by the Iraqi air force resumed on Tuesday as the sky cleared after several days of bad weather, the Iraqi military said.
A number of Daesh commanders were killed in an airstrike on a position in Hay Al-Tanak, a stronghold of the group in the west of Mosul, the Iraqi military said in statement.
Among those killed were commanders in charge of booby traps, of Arab suicide fighters and child recruitment, the statement added, without identifying them by name.
Daesh media outlets did not mention the strike.
The improved weather should also allow ground forces to resume their advance toward the Grand Al-Nuri Mosque, where the militants’ leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, declared a “caliphate” nearly three years ago over parts of Iraq and Syria.
The current phase of the campaign is the most difficult as narrow alleyways in the densely populated old city limit the use of artillery, air power and armored vehicles.
An explosion in western Mosul last month killed between 60 and 240 people, according to various accounts.


Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

Updated 18 November 2019

Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

  • Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter
  • ‘The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy’

TEHRAN: Iran condemned the United States’ support for “rioters” in a statement issued late Sunday, after two days of violent protests in the Islamic republic against a petrol price hike.
The foreign ministry said that it was reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “expression of support... for a group of rioters in some cities of Iran and condemned such support and interventionist remarks.”
Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 liters and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.
In a tweet on Saturday, Pompeo said in response to the demonstrations that “the United States is with you.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed his comments in Sunday night’s statement.
“The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy,” Mousavi was quoted as saying.
“The acts of a rioter and saboteur group supported by the likes of (Pompeo) have no congruity with the conduct of the wise Iranian people.”
The statement blasted Washington’s “ill-intent” over its decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal in May last year from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“It’s curious that the sympathizing is being done with the people who are under the pressure of America’s economic terrorism,” Mousavi said.

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