In their desperate struggle to survive, ISIS fighters have killed 232 people and taken thousands hostage and use them as human shields as they retreat further into Mosul.
The United Nations told CNN ISIS has been holding mass executions for small infractions in a frenzied attempt to keep their prisoners under foot.
Ravina Shamdasani, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reported: “ISIS executed 42 civilians in Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul. Also on Wednesday ISIS executed 190 former Iraqi security forces for refusing to join them, in the Al Ghazlani base near Mosul.”
The office reported another 24 former Iraqi security forces officers were reportedly killed on Tuesday and since October 17, ISIS has abducted tens of thousands of men, women, and children from Mosul and its outlying cities.
According to Daily Mail, Shamdasani stated: “Last Wednesday 232 civilians were reportedly shot to death. Of these there were 190 former Iraqi Security Forces officers. These reports have been corroborated to the extent possible.”
Shamdasani reported ISIS forces have collected the citizens as an extra layer of protection, “to use them as human shields against the Iraqi forces advanc[ing] on Mosul.”
Abdulrahman al Wagga, a member of the Nineveh provincial council, reported al Shura, a town about 19 miles from Mosul, managed to evacuate 5-6,000 civilians and the area is being cleared of homemade bombs and booby traps.
Iraqi security forces and federal police report to have surrounded 90 percent of Hammam al-Alil, the largest town south of Mosul.
Wagga reported the forces may be storming Hammam al-Alil soon, but with civilians still present all forces are holding off.
Shamdasani explained: “Forced out by gunpoint, or killed if they resist, these people are reportedly being moved to strategic locations where ISIL fighters are located.”
Many see ISIS’ desperation for what is is: “[A] depraved, cowardly strategy…to attempt to use the presence of civilians to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations, effectively using tens of thousands of women, men and children as human shields.”
As Iraqi forces prepare to attack from the south, they dodge armored suicide truck bombs, ISIS firing high-powered projectiles and explosives from the east.