IS abducts thousands of Iraqis

ISIS "has been forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes in some districts around Mosul", Ms Shamdasani said.

He says that 40 to 45 of the vehicles were hit in the US attack before any civilians were put in them.

"We expected that there would be instances where they needed to pause and reposition forces, you know, because the enemy gets a vote", Dorrian said at the Pentagon.

The European Union's foreign policy chief says that defeating the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is key to preventing terrorist attacks on European soil.

ISIS' forced relocation of families has doubled the population of its stronghold of Hamam al-Alil, a town around 10 miles south of Mosul, which now houses an estimated 60,000 people, she added.

There, the militants separated former members of the security forces from women and children, and took both groups onward to Mosul.

Zeid has voiced deep concern at reports that some individuals in the areas south of Mosul have "embarked on revenge killings and have vowed on television that there would be ´eye-for-eye´ revenge against those who sided with ISIL", Shamdasani said. The act of atrocity is the recent mass execution of 190 former Iraqi security forces and 40 civilians from Mosul, the second Iraqi city.

United Nations spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said there were also "credible reports" of the abductions according to Sky News.

Iraqi forces advancing toward Mosul from several directions have made uneven progress since the offensive began.

"They are pausing and repositioning, refitting and doing some back clearing", said coalition spokesman Col John Dorrian.

Al Jazeera's Jamal El Shayyal, reporting from Fadiliya, said that though the town was now under Peshmerga control, sporadic fighting was ongoing.

Iraqi troops and security forces edged closer to Mosul on two southern fronts on Sunday but a leader of the Shiite militias newly participating in the offensive warned that the battle for ISIS' Iraq stronghold would be long and gruelling.

The civilians are understood to have been brought into the city and used as human shields nearby to military installations.

CENTCOM is in charge of US military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. A US general said thousands have been rounded up, and that the coalition airstrikes are trying to disrupt the militants without harming civilians. Gen. Matthew C. Isler told The Associated Press Friday that the coalition conducted "precision strikes" on vehicles that the militants were using in the operation.

Speaking after talks with his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Moscow, Muallem said the coalition wanted the fighters to move from Iraq's Mosul to Syria's Raqqa, the group's de facto capital.

"They're using human shields to make the Iraqi Security Forces advance [into Mosul] more hard", Col. John Dorrian, the spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, said to reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference from Baghdad, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for the militias, said on state television the western approach to Mosul is hard because it encompasses open deserts and the Iraq-Syrian border areas.

Older boys and men of fighting age were taken off to an unknown fate, they said.

The UN and rights groups believe that more than 200,000 civilians could be displaced during the offensive.

Mogherini also stressed the importance of getting people back to their homes in a liberated city of Mosul in Iraq quickly and securely.

Barzani said he estimates the coalition would need three months to retake the city and asked for more German weapons to aid his forces, as well as European Union aid for refugees from the conflict.



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