Story : Iraq-Mosul Battle/Civilians
File ID : 401262
Video ID : 10452816
Date : March 20, 2017
Published : March 21, 2017
Duration : 2'09
Location(s) : Mosul, Iraq
Type : Arabic/Nats
Source : China Global Television Network (CGTN)
Restrictions : No access Chinese mainland
Pageview : 20
Summary : Civilians flee as security forces continue advance into west Mosul
Languages :

Shotlist

Mosul, Iraq - March 20, 2017
1. Various of Iraqi soldier praying
2. Various of monument
3. Various of civilians fleeing
4. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mosul resident (no name given):
"We were in danger. I am a very old woman, but thank God we have got here safely. I cannot even stand up. Could you get me out of here? We don't have anything."
5. Various of destroyed houses, cars
6. Armored vehicle
7. Ducks
8. Military convoy driving through neighborhood
9. Rocket being fired towards IS target
10. Various of Iraqi Special Operations Forces commander Sami al-Aridiy speaking with reporter
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sami al-Aridiy, commander, Iraqi Special Operations Forces (starting from shot 10):
"The other challenge is the large number of civilians. It doesn't allow us to use the weapons we need when we need them. It takes more time because the number of civilians and the land conditions, and our main objective is to liberate civilians and keep them safe."
12. Various of people gathered around truck to collect food
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bite Faris Shakur, Mosul resident (partially overlaid with shot 14):
"Our house has been destroyed. We have lost everything. We ran away and it was raining, but the IS fighters told us they would kill us if we ran away. They said we must stay here and die here, but we had to run."
++SHOT OVERLAYING SOUNDBITE++
14. Local residents
++SHOT OVERLAYING SOUNDBITE++
15. Various of people queuing to get on bus
16. Various of people on road

Storyline

Thousands of civilians continued to flee the fighting in west Mosul on Monday as Iraqi security forces continued to make advances into the center of the west of the city, which is controlled by Islamic State (IS) militants.

A lone Iraqi soldier prayed at the roundabout that is the gateway to Mosul's west. This was where IS punished those who disobeyed its rules - lashings, beheadings and worse.

Now it is the exit point as many try to flee.

People have come from the city center and area that was liberated the day before, and they are desperate to get out. They say they are tired and hungry, and they just want to get somewhere safe.

"We were in danger. I am a very old woman, but thank God we have got here safely. I cannot even stand up. Could you get me out of here? We don't have anything," said a Mosul resident.

The old and the sick, even those who appeared to be just weeks old were ignoring the Iraqi forces' pleas to remain in their homes as the fighting they said was just too fierce.

However, it has been slow progress in recent days for the special forces charged with attacking the western flank. Bad weather and rain has slowed their advance to a crawl.

Heavy artillery is still pounding the city. One rocket targeted an IS bomb making facility.

Iraqi Special Operations Forces commander Sami al-Aridiy said heavy weapons can only be used sparingly.

"The other challenge is the large number of civilians. It doesn't allow us to use the weapons we need when we need them. It takes more time because the number of civilians and the land conditions, and our main objective is to liberate civilians and keep them safe," said al-Aridiy.

Inside the city, federal police are continuing to push forward, but the mortars and machine guns make no distinction between the IS fighters and the local populace, who say they are being used as human shields.

Left behind them is a wasteland of scorched earth. Food and water remains in very short supply.

Many of the people said they had not eaten for several days, another reason to abandon their homes and flee.

"Our house has been destroyed. We have lost everything. We ran away and it was raining, but the IS fighters told us they would kill us if we ran away. They said we must stay here and die here, but we had to run," said Bite Faris Shakur, another Mosul resident.

As they are packed onto buses and shifted out to makeshift camps, many of the people have no idea when they will return.

However, with over 600,000 people still remaining inside the battle zone, they might be considered the lucky ones.

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