The massive battle to liberate Mosul -- Iraq's second largest city -- from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) entered its sixth day today (October 22, 2016) amid reports that the terrorist group has taken hundreds of civilians captive to use as human shields, according to the ABC News website.
As Iraqi-led forces advance toward Mosul -- the last major stronghold of ISIS in Iraq -- the United Nations said it is "gravely worried" that the Islamic State group is holding some 550 families in and around the northern city for use as human shields.
The Iraqi-led coalition moving toward Mosul has encountered booby traps, roadside bombs, and trenches filled with oil that ISIS set ablaze to provide smoke cover for its fighters.
At least 200,000 people are expected to be displaced in the first two weeks of the operation to free Mosul, and as many as 1.5 million civilians are estimated to remain in the city. Of the one million who could become displaced, about half are children.