IS use of human shields complicates Mosul offensive

The civilian death toll is rising as IS militants use human shields in their ruthless defense of western Mosul.
Boys walk past the ruins of a football stadium destroyed by IS militants in Qayarah town, Nov. 21, 2016. (PATRICK OSGOOD/Iraq Oil Report)

ERBIL - Umm Sarah could hardly believe it: weeks after militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) executed her husband and threw her family onto the street, they invited her back into her home in western Mosul.

"I was informed by IS that I was allowed to reclaim my house and resettle in it," Umm Sarah said by phone from inside IS-held western Mosul, using a pseudonym. "I was in disbelief when IS provided my kids and me with food, supplies, and financial aid."

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