Iraqi commanders say female Islamic State militants are firing on their forces and using children as human shields as the extremist group defends its last sliver of Mosul's Old City.
The militants' use of human shields has repeatedly slowed Iraqi advances throughout the nearly nine-month offensive to retake the country's second largest city, and the commanders' frustration was on display as they watched surveillance footage from the front lines.
"The women are fighting with their children right beside them," Lt. Gen. Sami al-Aridi said as he was briefed by an officer holding a tablet computer showing drone imagery. "It's making us hesitant to use airstrikes, to advance. If it weren't for this we could be finished in just a few hours."