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‘They Just Took Us.’ Mosul Civilians on Being Used as Human Shields by ISIS, by Jared Malsin (TIME via Counter Extremism Project)

By   /   March 30, 2017  /   No Comments

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Mar. 30, 2017

“In late February, as Iraqi troops advanced on the western half of the city of Mosul, ISIS gunmen barged through Median Hikmat al-Galou’s house, commandeering it for the battle that now raged around them. One of the militants set fire to a car sitting in the front driveway. He spoke in broken Arabic, leading Galou to believe he was Russian. “Islam needs smoke,” he said as the car went up in flames, creating a black plume that would help the gunmen conceal their position from the U.S. and allied warplanes that targeted them from above. The gunmen moved into the house, and later took Galou’s entire family hostage, using them as human shields in their own home and in a nearby house. This type of horror has become familiar to residents of western Mosul as Islamic State militants have put civilians in the line of fire as Iraqi troops and U.S.-led coalition warplanes intensify their assault on the city.”

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