BAGHDAD – Iraqi forces have pushed into an Islamic State-held town south of Mosul after a wave of airstrikes and heavy artillery.
Iraqi commanders said Saturday that most of the IS fighters fled the town of Shura earlier this week, using civilians as human shields, but that U.S. airstrikes disrupted the forced march, allowing some civilians to escape.
Iraqi army Maj. Gen. Najim al-Jabouri said “after all this shelling, I don’t think we will face much resistance.” He added that “this is easy, because there are no civilians left.”
Lt. Col. Hussein Nazim of the Federal Police said some civilians might still be in the city, but that the use of heavy artillery and airstrikes was a standard tactic.
Iraqi forces launched a massive operation to retake militant-held Mosul last week. Forces coming up from the south are still 20 miles (35 kilometers) from the city, but fighting units on other fronts are closer
SOURCE: News Now/Fox News Online