ARTICLE: On Mosul’s civilian deaths
By Zaid Al-Ali, April 8, 2017
AL JAZEERA: In October 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) strategists and commanders were fully aware of the sheer number of Iraqi armed forces that were moving in to encircle Mosul.
The operation to retake Iraq’s second-largest city was officially launched last October, and in January its eastern half was declared “fully liberated”. Mosul is ISIL’s last major urban stronghold in Iraq.
ISIL has known for some time that its control over Mosul was coming to an end. The armed group knew that they could not match the Iraqi army and security forces’ superior numbers, equipment and international support.
As the battle unfolded over the coming months, and as ISIL predictably continued to lose territory, many wonder what the armed group was actually fighting for.