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Published: Sat, November 12, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Iraq troops pause in advance on Mosul


Firefighters work at the site of an oil well fire in Qayara, some 31 miles (50 km) south of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.

Researchers from the global rights group, who traveled to al-Shura and al-Qayyara districts south and southwest of Mosul, said they gathered evidence of the executions of at least six people in late October.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said at least 37 men suspected of being affiliated to IS had been detained by Iraqi and Kurdish forces from checkpoints, villages, screening centres and camps for displaced people around Mosul and Hawija.

In the battle for the Iraqi city of Fallujah in June, Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces) militia forces were accused of so-called revenge attacks against Sunni civilians they accused of supporting Isil.

And as Iraqi forces push into Mosul, a Kurdish-Arab militia alliance has been advancing on Raqqa - the militants' de facto Syrian capital - in support of air strikes. Their bodies were then hung on electrical poles as a clear message to anyone else thinking of disobeying them.

And on Wednesday, IS slaughtered another 20 people at the Ghabat Military Base in northern Mosul after accusing them of "leaking information", the United Nations statement said. His crime: he used a mobile phone in Mosul.

The forces, backed by tribal fighters, recaptured the villages of Um al-Qorun and al-Tayesh from Islamic State south of Mosul, Colonel Dureed Saeed, a commander in the Mosul operation, added.

IS militants have boasted of the atrocities in grisly online photos and video.

Iraqi troops are fighting several fronts on Mosul, the country's second largest city and the last major ISIS holdout in Iraq.

"That fight against Daesh is really picking up, especially in that key area of Mosul", said James.

More than a thousand unexploded bombs are believed buried in Bashiqa, Effendi said.

"The truth is that they were local residents who killed Daesh militants".

A nearby shop where Mohammed sold animal feed had collapsed from an apparent airstrike. "I feel powerless", he said, surveying the destruction.

"Apparently they have a smart electrician with them".

"The president of the council of ministers Dr. Haider al-Abadi expressed his surprise about the Amnesty International report concerning killings that happened in Mosul and conveyed false information that it was the government forces", a post on the official Facebook page of Abadi read on Thursday.

Regular army troops control 90 percent of the Intisar neighborhood, said one officer, but progress has slowed because "the streets are too narrow for our tanks". He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

All those killed were buried without autopsies after their corpses were found, the statement said.

Shamdasani said the rights office did not know how IS meant to use the chemicals, but pointed to the requirement under global humanitarian law to protect civilians located near them.

"They've set up elaborate defences, and we have to assume they'll do anything among the civilian population because they don't care about anyone", he said, noting that airstrikes had hit hundreds of IS positions in the three-week old Mosul campaign.

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