SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 8, Issue 1 - Page 21

From site selection to accepting its first DCs, it took approximately 2 months for IOs to construct a 3,000 tent camp at Al-Qayara. 32,33 The need for mine clearance may have been a limiting factor in starting construction of some DC camps. 30,34 ISF were involved in camp site verification, possibly to assist with mine clearance. 30 As of 14 Nov 2016 more DCs had arrived at the eastern camps than at the southern camps, mainly having left the city through the eastern suburb of Gogachly. This seems to run counter to the IOs’ intent that the sites to the south would be the first line option for DCs. DC flow to the east probably occurred because the first urban areas of Mosul to be retaken were at the eastern edge of the city, 35 creating a relatively safe exit route for DCs. It is not clear whether MoMD and IOs had advance information on the ISF scheme of maneuver, which might have allowed them to anticipate early DC flows to the east. Various IOs made plans for assisting DCs in their respective sectors. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) / Health Cluster coordinated the positioning of health services assets and medication supplies in the areas surrounding Mosul, taking into account projected DC flow. They estimated that out of 700,000 projected DCs, 200,000 would require emergency medical treatment. 36 A map outlining these DC flow projections and health services assets is available at irq_mosul_displacement_a3_110816.pdf. As of Jul 2016 the government of Iraq was advising civilians to leave Mosul. 37 However, ISF conducted a leaflet drop on 16 Oct 2016, just before the start of operations, providing new guidance. The leaflets asked civilians to stay indoors and put white flags on their houses to indicate non-combatant status. 22,38 ISIS actions incentivized civilians to stay in place. ISIS emplaced obstacles and IEDs, dug trenches, and warned civilians against leaving the city. 22,39 Some DCs reported that ISIS was not permitting men to leave, and that women and children were being charged $400 each to leave. 40 ISIS in some cases shot people attempting to escape. 26 While DC flows have negative consequences for military operations and stability, a "stay put" policy also has a downside. In the case of operations in urban terrain against an adversary willing to use human shields, greater civilian presence increases the difficulty of avoiding civilian casualties, which diminishes tempo of offensive operations. 5,41-44 In late November, the ISF Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) asked the government of Iraq to reverse the "stay put" policy and "to encourage civilians to leave the area, which would allow the CTS to be more aggressive in anti-ISIS operations, including its use of airstrikes." 41 IO/NGOs appear to be operating fairly close to active combat operations, which would tend to reduce pressure on ISF to transport or escort DCs to reach camps Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 20 of 28