Mosul battle could see siege, mass displacement: UN

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Sunday 19th February 2017 08:30:27 in English News by Xarunta Dhexe
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    Mosul battle could see siege, mass displacement: UN

    Mosul battle could see siege, mass displacement: UN

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Mosul battle could see siege, mass displacement: UN BAGHDAD: Iraq's US-backed offensive against Daesh in western Mosul could displace up to 400,000 civilians and involve a siege in the densely populated old city, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq said on Saturday.
Western Mosul contains the old city center, with its ancient souks, Grand Mosque and most government administrative buildings. Commanders expect the battle to be more difficult than in the east because, among other things, tanks and armored vehicles cannot pass through its narrow streets and alleyways.

"This is a different battle with enormous implications for civilians,” Lise Grande told Reuters by telephone. "We have to face the possibility of a siege in the old city.”
She said the UN had considered several options for ensuring civilians' access to food, medicine and water in such a scenario.
In Mosul and previous battles against Daesh, the military has surrounded the enemy but left an escape route for fighters to reduce civilian casualties and destruction to homes and infrastructure. There may still be an option for the militants to flee west towards Tel Afar, but they may decide to put up a last stand in the heart of Mosul, the largest population center ever to come under their control.
Capturing the city would effectively end the militants' ambitions for territorial rule in Iraq, but they are expected to continue to wage an insurgency, carrying out suicide bombings and inspiring lone-wolf actions abroad.
Grande said up to half of them could flee their homes "in a worst case”, twice the displacement seen in eastern Mosul.
Daesh is hemorrhaging money with every piece of territory it loses, according to a new analysis that found that the group's "business model” is on the path to failure.
The analysis released by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence and the accounting firm EY found that the self-proclaimed caliphate's financial resources have been drained substantially since the days beginning in mid-2014 when it captured banks, oil wells and entire warehouses of weapons as it amassed land.
The report found that Daesh revenue has declined from up to $1.9 billion in 2014 to at most $870 million in 2016.
"One of the mistakes that has been made in the past when we were talking about Daesh was talking about it purely as a terrorist organization. It is a terrorist organization but it is more than that. It holds territory,” said Peter Neumann, director of the center at King's College London.
"That also means it has a lot more expenses. It needs to fix roads. It needs to pay teachers. It needs to run health services. It needs to pay for these things that Al-Qaeda never had to.”
But less money may not make the group less dangerous, the report said.
Meanwhile, Turkey has presented two plans to the US detailing how a joint operation could retake Daesh’s de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, a local newspaper reported Saturday.
Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar set out Ankara's proposals to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford during his visit to Turkey, Hurriyet daily said citing security sources.
Dunford traveled Friday to the Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish province of Adana, which is used for air raids against Daesh.
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