A doctor who served as an aid worker under Samaritan's Purse has shared horrific details about child injuries and deaths during the ongoing battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State.
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In a Facebook post on Monday morning, Samaritan's Purse president Rev. Franklin Graham shared a report from one of the humanitarian aid workers who had just finished rendering service at their field hospital just outside Mosul. A doctor described the scenes he witnessed on his first day at work at the emergency facility and recalled how he felt when he had to deliver the dead body of a 10-year-old to the morgue, The Christian Post relays.
"My first day at the emergency field hospital just east of Mosul, Iraq was very much like my last day. Mortar strikes on civilians, children bloody and broken, black bags to hold the dead," the doctor said in his report, which Graham shared on his Facebook page. "The slow, solemn walk, cradling a 10-year-old in my arms, counting the steps to the morgue. Laying someone's son down on cold gravel, reading his name one last time on the death certificate taped to the body bag."
In addition, the aid worker said he would never forget "what was left of" the boy's face and the gurgling sounds he made before he died. The doctor, whose name has not been revealed, also said they sang songs and prayed over the young patient while they battled grief.
Aside from that, the aid worker said they treated nine children on his last day there, including a toddler whose ribs were blown open by the mortar explosion. There were also others on other days whose feet were "shot off." He said the experience of carrying the young dead bodies to the morgue left him feeling like his soul was also shot.
Samaritan's Purse's field hospital began operating in January to provide aid for people severely wounded in the battle for Mosul. Hospital director Dr. Elliott Tenpenny said aid workers usually serve at the facility for at least three weeks, but many of them end up spending months there.
Meanwhile, the coalition and Iraqi forces fighting ISIS in Mosul are determined to make sure that the terrorists will have no chance to escape. Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition, warned on Sunday that any militants still in the Iraqi city will die, the BBC reports.
Mosul is the last major urban stronghold that ISIS has in Iraq, and government troops have managed to take back large areas of the city in the last five months. McGurk admitted that anti-ISIS forces face a difficult battle ahead of them, but he is confident that Mosul will be liberated soon.