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UN report shows extensive destruction in western Mosul by anti-IS battles
Last Updated: 2017-04-14 11:34 | Xinhuanet
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A United Nations report on Thursday said the destruction caused by the heavy battles to dislodge the Islamic State (IS) militants from the western side of Mosul is two and a half times greater than it was the eastern side of the city.

Using satellite imagery and information from local researches, the recent assessment by the United Nations Human Settlements Program, found more than 1,140 housing sites have been destroyed in western Mosul, the report said.

One-third of residential damage is reported in Mosul al-Jadida neighborhood, or New Mosul in English, in the western side of Mosul, according to the report.

"The level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins," said Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for Iraq.

"Homes are being destroyed. Schools and health centers are damaged and crucial public infrastructure including electricity and water stations are in ruins," Grande said.

"Under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians and limit damage to civilian infrastructure. Nothing is more important," she added.

The Iraqi forces have been fighting fierce street-to-street and house-to-house clashes against IS militants as they are trying to advance through the narrow streets in the old neighborhoods around the historical al-Nuri Mosque in the middle of Mosul's old city center.

The progress in western Mosul is much slower than the early phases of the offensive, as the battles against terrorist militants holed up in densely populated old city center, with its narrow and maze-like streets appear to be a bigger challenge to the Iraqi forces.

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