- Title: Residents flee the fighting in Mosul's eastern districts
- Date: 23rd January 2017
- Summary: HAY AL-ARABI, MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 23, 2017) (REUTERS) SOLDIER'S BOOT ON GROUND, RESIDENTS LEAVING VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS LEAVING, SOME CARRYING BAGS, OTHER PULLING SUITCASES RESIDENT LEAVING MOSUL SPEAKING TO COMMANDER OF UNIT MORE OF PEOPLE LEAVING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT OF HAY AL-ARABI, SAYING: ''It was tragic, there was no food, no water, nothing. Thank God, the forces came and liberated us. (ASKED HOW HE FELT NOW) Thank God, I feel just fine and all because of God.'' VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LEAVING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT OF HAY AL-ARABI, SAYING: "We feel safe now that we have left the area. It was dangerous, mortars and shelling. So when the army came we felt safe, thank God. (ASKED HOW LONG IT HAS BEEN LIKE THIS) It has been like this for 15 days, the mortar attacks.'' RESIDENTS SPEAKING TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAL COMMANDER OF 67TH REGIMENT, 16TH DIVISION, ALI KHALED (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LIEUTENANT-GENERAL COMMANDER OF 67TH REGIMENT, 16TH DIVISION, ALI KHALED, SAYING: ''Of course we are happy to have achieved our mission but also we are sad to see these people leaving. We will be even happier if we completed the securing of Rashidiya district so these residents can go back to their homes, then it will be mission accomplished.'' VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS SPEAKING WITH KHALED VARIOUS VIEWS OVER HAY AL-ARABI DISTRICT VARIOUS OF SOLDIER WATCHING OVER HAY AL-ARABI DISTRICT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT OF HAY AL-ARABI, A RETIRED UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, SAYING: ''They (Islamic State militants) came to us and said that you have three hours to leave (our house). They went to the roof of the house. Then we left to a nearby house and hid their in the basement with about five other families. (ASKED WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHAT'S HAPPENED IN MOSUL AND IN IRAQ IN GENERAL?) Honest to God, (English) it is a game, (Arabic) it is a game. And it was all unexpected we don't know what to make of it.'' DRIVING SHOT INSIDE MILITARY HUMVEE HUMVEE PASSING IN FRONT OF ISLAMIC STATE SIGN ON THE ROAD HUMVEE DRIVING PAST CIVILIANS AND MILITARY VEHICLES MORE CIVILIANS LEAVING THE CITY IRAQI NATIONAL FLAG ON ROOFTOP, VARIOUS OF IRAQI FORCES FIRING TOWARDS RASHIDIYA DISTRICT VIEW OF THE AREA WHERE ISLAMIC STATE IS BELIEVED TO STILL BE IN RASHIDIYA VARIOUS OF BUILDINGS DESTROYED IN HAY AL-ARABI DISTRICT, GROUP OF PEOPLE LEAVING
- Embargoed: 6th February 2017 16:11
- Keywords: Al-Arabi Mosul fighting residents flee Iraqi army Islamic State
- Location: HAY AL-ARABI, MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: HAY AL-ARABI, MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00160AYAMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi forces have captured all of eastern Mosul, dislodging Islamic State militants from their last stronghold east of Tigris river, the defence ministry said on Monday (January 23).
Hundreds of civilians, who have spent days stuck in the middle of the fighting, fled their homes in the districts of Hay al-Arabi and Rashidiya in northeastern Mosul, as the Iraqi forces performed mopping up operations in the areas.
Many residents timed their escape just as the Iraqi forces entered their neighbourhood.
One man shared his relief by thanking God as he fled on foot while carrying a large bag, but decried the situation as "tragic".
Residents said that they preferred to remain outside their districts while the Iraqi forces carried out the process of clearing the areas of bombs and unexploded munitions.
One woman said she has been under Islamic State mortar attacks for 15 days, but now feels safe.
Of those who stayed behind in Hay al-Arabi was an elderly retired university professor and his wife, who said IS fighters gave them three hours to leave their house and positioned themselves on their rooftop. They had to survive for days in the basement of a house nearby with five other families.
Mosul is Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq.
"The armed forces succeeded in liberating the left bank of the city of Mosul completely, after inflicting heavy losses in lives and equipment to the enemy," the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The liberation of east Mosul comes 100 days after the launch of the U.S.-backed campaign to retake what used to be Iraq's second biggest city from the jihadist group, who captured the city in 2014.
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