Pope Francis said: “In these dramatic hours I am close to the entire population of Iraq, especially the population of Mosul city. Our hearts are shocked by the brutal acts of violence for long time committed against the innocent citizens, both Muslims, Christians, or members of other ethnic groups and religions.the massacre perpetrated by ISIS in the besieged city by Iraqi Kurdish troops. “I was saddened the cold-blooded killing of many children of that beloved land, including many children, this cruelty makes us cry, leaving us speechless.
Prayer for the victims
Bergolglio said:”The word of solidarity is accompanied by the assurance of my remembrance in prayer so that Iraq, while suffering, it is strong and firm in hope of moving toward a future of security, reconciliation and peace. So I ask all of you to join me in prayer.
The Pontiff’s words refer to the Caliphate massacre perpetrated in Iraq between Thursday and Friday. Isis militiamen have executed 284 people -there were also many children and young people – while the coalition forces were advancing toward Mosul, the only stronghold remained under the black flag of jihad, in Iraq. It was reported by an Iraqi intelligence to CNN, US broadcaster, that the victims had been captured in raids to be used as human shields against attacks that are forcing the Daesh to leave the southern areas of the city.
This is the second retaliation within hours after the start of the Mosul offensive by Kurdish-Iraqi troops. Always on Friday a series of jihadi attacks rocked the city of Kirkut. They were hit a power station, a school, a government compound, a former police station and two hotels in the center. Dozens of victims in the city from which they were shipped operations for the recapture of the Daesh stronghold in Iraq.
The Iraqi army said the 9th Division has pushed into the town of Hamdaniyah, also known as Qaraqosh and Bakhdida, and raised the flag over its central government compound, but the troops were likely still facing resistance in and around the town. Similar past announcements have often proved premature.
The town is around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mosul. Iraqi forces launched a wide-scale offensive earlier this week aimed at retaking Mosul, the country’s second largest city, which fell to IS in 2014. Hamdaniyah is believed to be largely uninhabited.The militiamen have littered the streets and the approaching villages in Mosul truck bomb, snipers and mines making the extremely complicated advanced.
Even in Tal kayf, a strategic village located about 10 kilometers north-east of Mosul, the fighting going on . In what has been learned, the peshmerga – Kurdish fighters – broke IS lines and are they are entering the village. At the moment, the contest area is off-limits to journalists.
Carter in Baghdad
This morning, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, meanwhile arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit to meet with Iraqi commanders to discuss the offensive to retake Mosul. Carter, Iraqi media reports, said that he has scheduled interview with US military commanders and should have a” face-to-face” also with Haider al-abadi, Prime minister.