MOSUL, Iraq, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 11th Nov, 2016 ) : Elite Iraqi troops battled the Islamic State group in the streets of Mosul on Friday, as the UN reported IS militants had executed dozens of people inside the city for alleged "treason". With IS also on the defensive in neighbouring Syria, US-backed forces pressed an advance on militant bastion Raqa after a sandstorm eased. The high winds in the desert which separates the Syrian Kurdish-Arab militia alliance from the militants' stronghold in the Euphrates Valley had slowed their advance on Thursday as visibility levels plummeted.
Iraqi forces too had regrouped after meeting stronger than expected resistance from IS fighters on the east bank of the Tigris River which runs through Mosul after thrusting into the built-up area last week. Commanders of Iraq's elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said that troops were advancing on two eastern neighbourhoods of the city. In a house near the front line, Staff Lieutenant Colonel Muntadhar Salem clutched a radio in one hand and a tablet in the other with a map showing several rows of buildings recaptured by CTS.
As the troops waited for orders to push forward, incoming mortar rounds shook the pink curtains on the windows of the house. Inside Mosul itself, IS fighters reportedly shot dead more than 60 people this week and hung some of their bodies from poles after claiming they had collaborated with Iraqi troops, the UN human rights office said Friday. "On Tuesday, ISIL (IS) reportedly shot and killed 40 civilians in Mosul city after accusing them of 'treason and collaboration'" with the ISF, rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in a statement released in Geneva.