Reuters reports: As Iraqi forces close in on the western city of Ramadi, thousands of civilians are effectively being held hostage inside by Islamic State militants who want to use them as human shields.
Iraqi forces cut the hardline group’s last supply line into Ramadi in November, surrounding the city and making it almost impossible for the militants to send in reinforcements.
But for thousands of residents who remain trapped inside the mainly Sunni city, life has become even harder as the militants grow increasingly paranoid, residents said.
Reuters spoke to five residents inside the city and three who recently managed to get out. All said conditions inside had deteriorated to their worst since Islamic State overran it earlier this year.
“Daesh fighters are becoming more hostile and suspicious. They prevent us from leaving houses. Everyone who goes out against orders is caught and investigated,” said Abu Ahmed. “We feel we’re living inside a sealed casket.” [Continue reading…]