US-led coalition strike destroys Mosul bridge
BAGHDADThe U.S.-led coalition said it carried out an air strike on Nov. 22 that destroyed a bridge over the Tigris River in central Mosul to stop jihadists from rotating their forces in the Iraqi city, while more than 68,000 people have fled their homes since the start of an operation to liberate the city, the U.N. said.
“The reason for that is Daesh [ISIL] were using those as their lines of communications to re-supply their forces on the eastern side of the city and reinforce their forces, essentially rotating their forces,” a coalition spokesman said.
“So we’re not going to let that happen,” Colonel John Dorrian told AFP.
Meanwhile, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that “68,550 people are currently displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance.”
The figure increased significantly over the past week as forces battled deep into the densely populated city, but it falls short of pre-offensive predictions.
OCHA said the aid response to the offensive launched against the jihadists on Oct. 17 was growing in complexity, with varying needs for different categories of civilians.
“Humanitarian needs are severe among displaced families in and out of camps, vulnerable residents of retaken communities, and people fleeing the intense fighting in Mosul city,” it said.