By Matthew Mancini (’18)
On October 16th, the battle for reclaiming the Iraqi city of Mosul began. This is a key event in the War on Terror and an important assault against the terrorist organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
The battle began with the deployment of Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight against the 3,000 – 5,000 ISIS fighters. Forces began to bombard the city with mortars and airstrikes.
The main concern in retaking the city is civilian endangerment. Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq with a population of 1.5 million civilians, many of whom are women and children.
ISIS forces have begun to use the civilians as human shields in a misguided attempt to maintain the city. However, according to all international civil rights laws implemented by the United Nations, the actions that ISIS have committed are contradictory. “Using civilians to shield yourself from attack is a war crime,” Lynn Maalouf of Amnesty International stated in a recent statement.
Assembling these civilians around the fight may lead to a massive humanitarian crisis, displacing thousands and killing hundreds.