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    Smoke rises from the old city during a battle against Islamic State militants, in Mosul, Iraq

    Iraqi Forces Slow Old Mosul Offensive to Avoid Civilian Casualties

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    According to reports, Iraqi armed forces have slowed down the pace of their offensive near Old Mosul to avoid civilian casualties.

    MOSUL (Sputnik) Iraqi armed forces have slowed down the pace of their offensive near Old Mosul to avoid civilian casualties, a government forces source told Sputnik on Monday, noting that the troops are preparing to surround terrorists there.

    "We changed tactics, slowing down the pace of the offensive as we entered the area of the Old City with its dense buildings," the source said.

    The source said, "we are mainly working with snipers, small arms, and if we direct artillery or rockets, then only after confirmation from our informants inside the city that there are no civilians in this or that house."

    The source in the Iraqi armed forces said their plan to encircle entrenched terrorist fighters near Old City was meeting fierce resistance "in order not to let themselves be outflanked."

    "However, when the ring begins to close, they will inevitably leave these areas, moving to neighboring ones. This is their invariable tactic and we are counting on it, it will help avoid many victims," the source said.

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    civilian casualties, Mosul, Iraq
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