Islamic State Turned Desperate in Mosul Fight, Iraqis Say

(Wall Street Journal) Asa Fitch and Ali A. Nabhan - In their final days in Mosul, Islamic State militants dispatched dozens of suicide bombers - including women with babies in their arms - and searched homes for young boys they could force into battle, said Iraqi commanders who led the fight and residents who survived. Almost all of the group's remaining fighters in Mosul's Old City wore suicide vests during gunbattles, and they also strapped bombs to disabled civilians. Some 60 suicide bombers were blowing themselves up every day at the end, said a high-ranking officer. "In this last small area [the Old City], they weren't able to use their traditional weapons like car bombs, mortars and drones, so they used suicide bombers," Lt. Col. Salam al-Obaidi, a field commander in Iraq's counterterrorism forces, said Thursday. "Many were women. More than 25 women detonated explosive vests targeting our troops in the last few days."

2017-07-14 00:00:00

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