ISIS militants indiscriminately slaughtered pregnant women, children and entire families during a bloody seige last month, a former Navy SEAL told Fox News.
“ISIS was just gunning down civilians in the middle of the night as they ran – women and children," Ephraim Mattos told Fox News of the "Battle for Mosul" June 1-2.
"We were trying to treat as many people as we could. But bodies were all over the streets. An entire family lay dead right there – an old man, young parents and their baby between them."
The United Nations confirmed more than 160 were massacred while running from their West Mosul homes, Fox News reported.
“We saw two young girls, about 11 or 12, lying down," Mattos told Fox News. "One had been shot dead in the back, the other in the head – her face was totally gone. Where her face used to be, was just a big black hole.”
“We started to see children alive, buried underneath the dead," he said. "They were in shock. These little kids would get up and poke the bodies of their parents – confused, trying to wake them up from their sleep."
U.S. aircraft provided a smoke screen for cover as Mattos and his team approached an ISIS hospital being used by the jihadists as a headquarters, Fox News reported.
“I was terrified. I had to will myself to go forward,” he admitted. “But I had decided that I was prepared to die to get that little girl out of there… What ISIS was doing was just unreal. How do you shoot a little girl in the back of the head?”
There were other shocking images that he encountered, Fox News reported: corpses of pregnant women slaughtered by ISIS, an old man with his brain hanging from his skull, a little girl – miraculously alive – hiding under her mother’s bloody hijab.
Mattos told Fox News he and his team saw up to 70 bodies in the early hours of June 4 as signs of life emerged.
"One little boy, no older than 6 or 7, laid down next to what appeared to be his sister," he said. "He covered her in a scarf to shield her from the hot sun. It was absolutely heart-breaking. We all knew then, we had to do something to get those kids out."
According to Mattos, there were around 100 fighters and over a dozen snipers in that general area at the time, concealed on rooftops and in the dark rooms of shelled houses. Mattos was shot in the calf while trying to get cover behind a vehicle.
“As a SEAL, we are taught that our job is to take care of ourselves until the battle is over,” Mattos said. He arrived home to Wisconsin at the end of June to complete his recuperation, Fox News reported.
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