That anyone still lives in the ruins is a measure of how desperate the situation has become. The Iraqi army says it has carried out 3,780 sorties against Isil in northern Iraq since the offensive to liberate Mosul began, which averages out to almost 30 a day. The US, which is supporting Iraqi forces, has conducted more than double that.
“They dropped leaflets over the city telling us not to worry about the strikes, saying that they were extremely precise and would not hurt the civilians,” says Mr Ahmed, 47. “Now it feels like the coalition is killing more people than Isil.”
He said he thought as many as 300 people had been killed in raids during the battle to liberate Samood and his late brother’s neighbourhood al-Mansour. It was difficult to immediately verify the claim. A recent report by Airwars, a UK-based organisation which monitors international air strikes against Isil, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone.