The latest CNN report (3:15 AM EDT) on the battle features a "Breaking News" banner at the top of the page; it reads:
ISIS has executed 232 people near Mosul and taken tens of thousands of people as human shields, UN says.More bad news on the battle from the report, including this surprise:
Witnesses in Mosul told CNN that several hundred ISIS fighters have arrived in the city in the past few days from Raqqa in neighboring Syria. They say most of the new arrivals are foreign fighters who wear distinct uniforms. They are seen wearing suicide belts for show -- and carry light weapons.
These fighters appear to have moved to Mosul in small groups to avoid airstrikes, taking a long route to the western Iraqi town of Ba'aj and then across the desert on small roads and tracks.Plenty more bad news in the report, but CNN also reports on great courage, as Mosulians risk instant execution by getting hold of cell phones and calling out to give war reports and 'intelligence' on IS actions inside the city.
Oops. In the time I wrote this up, the banner has been removed. Hmmmmm. A call from White House Press Minders, perhaps?
Another item from the report:
A former security officer who fled Mosul in 2015 and current residents say ISIS has built two kinds of tunnels: some to recover the city's rich antiquities and sell them; others to assist the movements of the organization's military network.The fiends are doing their utmost to destroy the country's cultural heritage -- same in Syria, of course. Anywhere they go, it seems.