In Iraq, a U.S.-led military coalition has begun its assault on Mosul’s Old City, a densely populated urban area and the last stronghold of ISIS in the northern Iraqi city. The U.N. said Friday as many as 150,000 people remain trapped in the district, describing their situation as “desperate.” Residents of western Mosul who were able to escape described scenes of starvation.
Hussein: “We have nothing to eat—no flour, no rice, just nothing at all. We had to eat grass and made grass soup to feed our children. The leaves even cost 7,000 dinars per kilogram.”
There were reports of heavy fighting and close-quarters battles in Mosul’s Old City, with unconfirmed reports that more than a dozen civilians were killed in U.S.-led airstrikes over the weekend.
In Syria, a U.S. fighter shot down a Syrian warplane Sunday in the latest direct attack on a Syrian government target. The Pentagon said it downed the plane after it bombed U.S.-backed, anti-government rebels. Meanwhile, the United Nations said an estimated 200,000 civilians remained trapped in the city of Raqqa, as a U.S.-led coalition pounds the city in a campaign against ISIS. The U.N. says the airstrikes have killed at least 300 civilians in Raqqa since March.