Civilian deaths, Old City fight force Mosul battle rethink

By Patrick Markey MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – Perched in bombed-out apartments overlooking west Mosul, Iraqi police snipers have in the last few days advanced to within a few hundred meters of the mosque where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al—Baghdadi declared his caliphate nearly three years ago. Through holes knocked in walls, troops have a clear view of the al Nuri mosque’s crooked, brown minaret and Islamic State’s black flag on its white tip — a hugely symbolic target in the battle to recapture Mosul now in its sixth month. Al Nuri maybe tantalizing close, but risky close-quarters fighting in the narrow alleys of Mosul’s Old City near the mosque and reports of huge casualties after an air strike are forcing Iraqi and coalition commanders to change tactics.

Original story here.

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