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Mosul residents happy to see militants leave

Reporter: Jack Barton 丨 CCTV.com

11-04-2016 14:15 BJT

As Iraqi security forces continue to battle ISIL in the city of Mosul, many residents in areas already re-captured say they'll stay put rather than head to emergency camps outside the city. CCTV's correspondent spoke to residents about their treatment at the hands of the Iraqi security forces so far, as well as life under ISIL.

Residents in Mosul's eastern Karama district appear happy that ISIL is gone, but also relieved the Iraqi security forces are not carrying out widespread reprisals here. That had been a genuine fear based on past experience.

"Everyone is here. The Special Forces and the army and we all want to help them against those who want to harm us. They gave us their food. They gave us their water. We haven't been given that for the past two years," said Jafar, resident of Karama, Mosul.

Food and water were not the biggest problems under ISIL. This mother lost a son. These children a father. They say all because he had a Shiite Muslim name.

"Because his name was Sadiq they killed him," said Abdulhasan, resident of Karama, Mosul.

People pose for photos on the tanks though the constant sound of nearby street fighting is too much for this little girl.

It's clear now that Iraqi security forces have not just entered Mosul, they have re-captured and secured some of the neighborhoods and you can tell that the mood amongst the locals is fairly relaxed...even though towards the west there is still the sound of fierce gun battles ongoing.

Locals say that ISIL punished even small offenses like smoking or not attending prayers by floggings, jail or fines.

"We could not use our mobile phones. The women could not go out and we were forbidden from speaking loudly," said Omar Jalil, resident of Karama, Mosul.

While there is little damage from the fighting in Mosul so far, ISIL's main defensive positions were in villages outside the city limits. Here, the destruction is total.
People that lived in these areas have either made their way to camps or are still on route.

Whether the U.N.'s fear of a million refugees becomes a reality will depend on how quickly ISIL can be defeated in their last stronghold in Iraq and how much of the city is left standing when that mission is complete.

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