(CNN) – We’re learning about an ISIS bloodbath. The United Nations says more than 200 people have been “executed” by the terrorists as coalition forces advance on the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Tens of thousands of men, women and children are being used as human shields. This, after a near disaster in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
Near catastrophe in the skies over Syria when a US and Russian aircraft flew dangerously close to each other in a previously undisclosed incident.
The closest call yet in this war. The head of us air forces in the region called it a ‘near miss” collision in the middle of the night but mixed messages from the military.
Col. John Dorrian said, “I don’t think that it was perceived to be a danger.”
The US believes it’s wasn’t a deliberate provocation by Moscow, but even if it’s just bad navigation.
Col. Dorrian, “The risk of a disaster is certainly a very high one in a combat environment like this.”
Both planes were flying on October 17th at hundreds of miles an hour. The Russian fighter crossed less than half a mile in front of a US surveillance aircraft. The two sides spoke about the incident, the US says the Russian pilot didn’t even know the US plane was there.
The US and Russia previously agreed they would keep a distance of three miles between aircraft and an altitude separation of 3,000 feet. That bubble is now violated about every ten days by the Russians according to us military officials.
Cedric Leighton said, “Because tensions are so high between the United States and Russia, even an accident, a true accident, could very well spin out of control.”
In Iraq, new concern that around Mosul, ISIS is taking civilians and using them as human shields.
Dorrian, “What’s happening is as they fall back into the city, apparently they are taking some of the local residents as human shields. So this is something we try to stop when we can, or put a stop to it.”
The US recently struck 50 vehicles outside Mosul that ISIS was going to use to move captive civilians.