ISIS seizing boys as young as 9 to fight in Mosul, UN warns

Updated 1:18 PM EDT, Fri November 4, 2016
mosul khazir camp refugees basu orig vstop _00005611.jpg
mosul khazir camp refugees basu orig vstop _00005611.jpg
Now playing
01:02
Thousands displaced by Mosul fighting
Now playing
03:44
Do the 1990s hold the key to sustainable websites?
Now playing
01:10
Watch SpaceX land its Mars rocket prototype for the first time
Now playing
05:52
The climate crisis is taking these farmers' most valuable resource
U.S. President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of American's small business. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of American's small business. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:37
Facebook Oversight Board: Indefinite suspension of Trump's account is 'not appropriate'
Now playing
03:41
How technology at NASA helps guide Biden on climate
Now playing
01:42
A vaccine without needles? It's on the way
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during the 5th Annual NFL Honors at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during the 5th Annual NFL Honors at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:48
Conan announces his last show after 30 years in late night
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Will Trump be allowed back on Facebook? This board will decide
CNN
Now playing
05:16
WTF is a SPAC?
Now playing
01:51
A shortage of tanker truck drivers could cause stations to run out of gas
CEO at Verizon Media K. Guru Gowrappan appears at the 2019 Verizon Media NewFront on April 30, 2019 in New York City.
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Verizon Media
CEO at Verizon Media K. Guru Gowrappan appears at the 2019 Verizon Media NewFront on April 30, 2019 in New York City.
Now playing
02:47
Verizon sells off Yahoo and AOL
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:40
Warren Buffett warns on US inflation
Now playing
01:00
Astronauts splash down after record-setting mission
ATLANTA - APRIL 30:  A Boeing 757 with a new Delta Airlines logo sits on the tarmac following the company's emergence from bankruptcy at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport April 30,2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 757 sports new branding that will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on advertising.  (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images) 757
Barry Williams/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
ATLANTA - APRIL 30: A Boeing 757 with a new Delta Airlines logo sits on the tarmac following the company's emergence from bankruptcy at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport April 30,2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 757 sports new branding that will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on advertising. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images) 757
Now playing
02:28
Why Delta airlines is resuming selling middle seats
Now playing
02:50
Grocery chain says 'hero pay' forcing them to close stores

Story highlights

UN says that residents of Hammam al-Alil have been forced to hand over boys

Iraqi forces encounter fierce resistance as they strike ISIS positions in eastern Mosul

(CNN) —  

As Iraqi troops waged fierce battles Friday with ISIS militants in Mosul’s eastern neighborhoods, the United Nations warned it believes the terror group is seizing boys as young as 9 to fight on its behalf.

It has received reports ISIS has been instructing residents of Hammam al-Alil, about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Mosul, to hand over boys 9 and older since October 17, Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, said at press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.

She said the boys were apparently being conscripted to fight on behalf of the terror group as it battles to hold on to its Iraqi stronghold in the face of a massive assault by Iraqi-led coalition forces.

Shamdasani said the United Nations continued to receive reports of mass killings by ISIS, including 50 of its own militants Monday at Mosul’s Ghazlani military base for alleged desertion.

Iraqi troops are engaged in furious battles with militants to liberate the easternmost neighborhoods of Mosul after they breached the city limits for the first time in two years.

These forces have started storming the neighborhoods of al-Karama, al-Zahra, al-Qudes and al-Tahrir, Maj. Gen. Maan al-Saadi, commander of Iraqi counterterrorism special forces, told CNN on Friday.

Government troops struck ISIS positions early Friday, sending the militant group’s ambulances rushing to the scene to extricate the wounded and dead.

A CNN team on the outskirts of Mosul heard loud clashes, bombing from air support and artillery fire. It also witnessed Iraqi Humvees racing toward neighborhoods in eastern Mosul.

Military radio chatter suggested that rooftop snipers, along with militants firing from civilian areas, were complicating the fight.

The Iraqi army has reported progress on the northern front, with the capture of areas near Tal Kayf.

However, Iraqi counterterror troops got an early taste of how dogged – and bloody – ISIS’ defense of the city will be after encountering what one soldier described as “crazy resistance.”

Three of the unit’s soldiers were killed and seven wounded inside the neighborhood of Kirkokli.

The unit was met by two suicide vehicle bombs, and ISIS fighters emerged at close quarters with heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The unit lost two Humvees, with damage to three others.

Iraqi military helicopters circled above the area, using heavy machine gun fire against suspected ISIS positions.

ISIS-launched mortars landed on residential areas, killing at least seven civilians.

Civilians continue to leave neighborhoods on the outskirts of Mosul despite efforts by Iraqi authorities to keep them in their homes. Many said it had become impossible to stay because there was no water or food.

Officials have warned that entering the city would likely trigger the fiercest fighting yet and that the battle is expected to be fought street to street, or even house to house.